University of Richmond coach Russ Huesman has an answer for those who ask, “How come FBS teams were able to get through the fall without a huge number of COVID-related postponements and FCS teams are struggling to complete a shorter spring season?”
“Well, the FBS has 120 people on every roster. The FBS has 85 scholarship players,” Huesman, whose team works with the FCS maximum of 63 scholarships, said Wednesday. “In the fall, if we were out here in the fall, we’ve got our 90, 95 [players]. We’re in the spring. We came into the spring with about 64 players that could possibly play, and now we’re down from that.
“And it’s like that all throughout [the FCS]. I’m sure everybody’s having these issues.”
The CAA is riddled with attrition. On Wednesday, Rhode Island ended its season with two games remaining because of multiple positive COVID tests. Tuesday, New Hampshire did the same. Stony Brook called it quits Wednesday. Albany ended its season on March 31 because of a high number of injuries. Elon, with its last two games postponed, appears done for the season because of COVID considerations. Towson determined in October it wasn’t going to play this spring.
Richmond (3-0, 3-0 CAA), scheduled to play William & Mary (1-2, 1-2 CAA) Saturday, and James Madison have missed games because of COVID testing and contact tracing in their programs.
“Anybody that says, ‘Well, FCS, I mean they’re just not doing it correctly.’ Yeah, we are doing it correctly,” Huesman said, speaking of actions to control the virus. “We just don’t have the numbers, and a lot of places don’t.
“I think all of FCS football has done a great job. I’m glad we’re playing in the spring. It’s a breath of fresh air for our team, and I’m sure a lot of teams. Anybody that had to cancel due to COVID, whether it’s a game, a season, I know they’re crushed. Their players are crushed because I know they want to play.
“This should not be a reflection on the CAA or FCS football. We all knew it was going to be hard.”