Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

June Jones whiffs on spring football idea


Back from vacation.

First question: When Braves general manager Frank Wren has his performance review at the end of the season, does Liberty Media count Dan Uggla as one mistake or 62 million?

Second question: What is June Jones thinking?

The former Falcons' coach has an idea. It’s a really bad idea. Jones who is entering his seventh season at SMU, believes football schools in non-“Power 5” conferences – including Georgia State in the Sun Belt -- should move their season to the spring.

I’m going to assume that Jones has not run this idea past Larry Brown, the basketball coach on his campus.

Jones’ stems from the belief that lesser FBS football has a greater chance to thrive in the spring than in the large fall shadow of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12. It follows the blueprint of the USFL, which Jones played in.

There's one problem with that logic: The USFL failed.

“I think the have-nots [non-Power Five leagues] should go ahead and move to the spring just like the USFL did," Jones told Tampa, Fla., sportstalk station WDAE-AM . "I think that there's an opportunity to do a complete other side of that division and I think that if we don't think that way as a group of have-nots, we're going to get left behind.”

Yes. And no.

The quasi-secession by the “Power 5” will clearly define the haves and have-nots. The five conferences will be given greater autonomy from the NCAA to set up their own structure and command the most attention in the postseason. But it’s not that much different from what we’re seeing now.

A number of officials already have bashed Jones’ idea, which doesn’t make sense on a number of levels. Here are a few thoughts:

-- The fact lesser conferences will be overshadowed doesn’t mean there’s not a place for it in the fall. Football has a season. The failure of the USFL reaffirmed that.

-- Moving to the spring would play havoc with the bowl season, which would cease to exist beyond the “Power 5” conferences. So would other conferences arrange for bowl games in June? Good luck with that.

-- The recruiting calendar: Forget it.

-- Basketball: Remember that other sport on campus?

-- The NFL draft: It’s in May.

Jones was correct in saying, “Football is the No. 1 sport on television right now and the advertisers want live programming.” But moving to the spring is a bad idea.


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.