Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley complains that coronavirus rules among Power 5 programs haven’t been equal

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said he’s hoping for guidance from the NCAA soon on uniform rules for college football programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now it’s been by conference, and honestly it’s all over the place,” Riley said in a radio interview Thursday morning, adding he expected the NCAA to provide such guidance in the next few days.

“Our conference has been more stringent on it. We’ve not been able to do virtual meetings. Our players have not been able to come into our weight rooms even on an individual basis. We haven’t been able to send them equipment, whereas a lot of other conferences like the ACC right now, they’ve been able to do all those things. That hasn’t been a positive.

“It’s not really been an equal playing field.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, speaking on a conference call Thursday afternoon, said the league was close to giving programs additional guidelines, mentioning Sunday’s initial date to reconsider its actions taken earlier this month.

“We have gone about the longer process of trying to do that with our A-5 colleagues, so we’re kind of all singing off the same sheet music,” Bowlsby said. “We’re taking a good look at everything as it begins to calm down just a little bit.”

Bowlsby said the most important elements were sports medicine, physical therapy, rehabilitation, academic support and mental health support. He said a board meeting Saturday could lead to solutions.

Riley said he wasn’t sure when things would return to some sense of normality.

“It’s all going to be predetermined by our nation’s response to this virus and how seriously people take it,” Riley said. “Hopefully our nation will continue to get more serious about this and respond in a positive way.”

While Riley said he’d like to see the relaxing of some current regulations after spring football was shut down March 12, he added there would be plenty of time to prepare for the season if preseason camps are able to start on time.

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“We get 20-plus practices in fall camp; that’s enough to get a team ready to play,” he said, adding that while spring football is a key time for development, it wasn’t necessary from a health or safety standpoint.

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