Oklahoma’s spring football game will not take place April 18.
The school is not actively rescheduling the annual Red-White Scrimmage, but has not made the determination to cancel it either.
That was the latest Wednesday as OU’s planning continues in the wake of coronavirus pandemic precautions.
Before a university release was issued, OU athletic director Castiglione was candid during a WWLS radio interview with The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel, saying odds are slim that the game will take place.
“I can just tell you, while we haven’t come out and announced the spring game date being canceled, I don’t see any way that’s going to happen. I really don’t,” Castiglione said. “We’re sitting here looking at it from two different ways. People are canceling all kinds of events for 30 or more days. The other reason is related to practice. I can’t sit here and tell you when any team is going to be able to get back and have a normal practice. I can’t do that.
“To sit here and think we’re going to have a spring game, is silly. It would be hard to say we’d be able to be back in 30 or 45 days.”
OU later clarified Castiglione’s statement in a release, after it was perceived that the game had been called off.
That decision is on hold.
"The fact of the matter is it would be virtually impossible to hold the game on the originally scheduled date since we're not sure when or if we'll be able to return to practice,” Castiglione stated in a release. “So in talking with coach [Lincoln] Riley, we feel at the very least it's appropriate to announce that the game and associated activities will not occur on April 18.
“Given all of the unknowns we're facing, it's impossible to determine right now when or if the game will be rescheduled.”
Of note: Texas has not made the determination to cancel its April 25 spring game either. OU and Texas were set to hold their games on consecutive weekends, the fierce rivals hosting some of the same recruits.
It’s unlikely one school cancels its game without assurance the other plans to do the same.
Big Ten rivals Michigan and Ohio State canceled their respective spring games on the same day last week. Michigan’s had been scheduled for April 18, Ohio State’s for April 11.
OU has suspended all competitions, practices and workouts indefinitely. No organized team events of any kind are taking place on campus.
The Sooners’ Red-White Scrimmage was supposed to be a celebration of football past and present — former quarterback Baker Mayfield was set to return as his Heisman Trophy statue was unveiled on Owen Field.
That was the only event outside the game announced by OU, but other festivities figured to follow. The university uses extracurricular attractions to draw crowds as large as possible.
But that thinking became counterproductive over the past week, as public crowd sizes are limited to 10 people or less in most cases, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
OU has suspended ticket sales for the game and through its ticket office will contact customers who have already purchased them. OU welcomes customers’ questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.