Texas Southern coach Clarence McKinney would love nothing more than to be in the middle of spring football and to be putting together a solid recruiting plan for the 2021 class.

But, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has relegated college campuses across the country to online class environments and has brought sports to a halt, McKinney’s concerns these days are much different.

A couple of weeks ago, the second-year Tigers coach was busy getting his football players adjusted to taking online classes from home and making sure they had all the academic support they needed.

This week, the players began having position meetings via Zoom. McKinney could complain about the time missed on the football field like Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, but he won’t.

“For us, right now it’s bigger than football,” McKinney said recently. “This is about lives being lost — however long it takes to get this thing out of here.”

Right now, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how long it will take.

College conferences across the country are anticipating that things will be back to normal by the time the football season kicks off in the fall, but most acknowledge there is no certainty as illnesses and deaths continue to mount.

McKinney is known for telling his players to just worry about the things they can control.

“But this is something that’s out of our guys’ control,” he said.

 Follow Terrance Harris on Twitter @terranceharris.

I've been with The Defender since August 2019. I'm a long-time sportswriter who has covered everything from college sports to the Texans and Rockets during my 16 years of living in the Houston market....