No matter what, Satterfield hoping for way to play Cats

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- With the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 and others several other conferences have decided to play only league games during the upcoming football season.


The ACC hasn't determined its course of action yet, but is expected to follow suit. If that happens, UofL coach Scott Satterfield hopes that a way can be found for UofL and Kentucky -- the SEC hasn't announced its plans either -- to play their annual rivalry game as scheduled on Nov. 28 in Cardinal Stadium.


"We obviously want to play that football game, there's no question about it," Satterfield said during a  media teleconference Monday afternoon. "It's a great rivalry game, one that we look forward to every single year. If our schedule does get tweaked a little bit and you play only conference games, you hope to be able to squeeze in another game and play the guys down in Lexington."


Satterfield indicated that realistically he doesn't expect the Cards' other non-conference games against Murray State, Western Kentucky and possibly even Notre Dame, to be played.


"We're like everybody else, kind of sitting, wait and see," he said. "It would certainly not be surprising if we were playing only conference games."


ACC Commissioner John Swafford has said he will make a decision on how the league will proceed by the end of this month.


Most of Louisville's team, about 88 players, has returned to campus. Starting Tuesday, the coaching staff will spend the next two weeks preparing for the start of practice next month. Satterfield said there will be 30-minute position meetings followed by a 45-minute walk-through as a refresher of the playbook. He called it "a lot of mental learning."


The Cards are scheduled to begin preseason practice on Aug. 4. Whether that will happen or not is still uncertain, but UofL's coaching staff is planning on an on-time kickoff to the fall drills.


"It's the same thing we tell our players," he said. "You control what you can control. Right now, for us, it's doing our workouts on a daily basis, doing the things we need to do to get ready and prepared for when we do start. If they push it back, we can always adjust. That's going to be easy."


Although Satterfield recognizes the risks from the virus that would be inherent in going forward with college football season, he suggested that the players might be at more risk if the season was cancelled because they would have so much free time on their hands and would be socializing more.


"I think we all feel like we've got some sort of knowledge on this, probably enough to be dangerous," Satterfield said. "I feel very comfortable while the players are here (in the complex or in the dorms). Where I don't feel as comfortable is when the guys are out, just living like everybody else.


"If that is the way you kind of figure all this stuff out, then to me, you want them over here more than you want them out, right? I know there is obviously a big debate: Should you go to school? Should you practice? Should you play? Should you do all those things?


"Here's what I do know: Everybody is going to live life. And if I'm not participating in sports and I'm an athlete, what am I going to do? I worry about their mental health side of it. I can tell you, you can go to high school kids, junior high kids, if they're involved in sports, that's what they love to do and that's what they want to do.


"If they're not doing sports, what are they doing? They're going to have to fill that sime doing something. I think they're going to be out and about and carrying on like they always would and maybe pick up the virus that way. I think, mentally, they're in such a better place when they're here training and playing ball. So I worry more about not playing that I do playing."

CARDS ADD TWO TRANSFERS


Satterfield announced the signing of a pair of transfers -- former Liberty cornerback Kei'Trel Clark (5-10, 160) and former North Carolina wide receiver Roscoe Johnson (6-1, 190).


A rising sophomore, Clark played one season at Liberty, giving him three seasons of eligibility remaining for the Cardinals. A native of Richmond, Va., he was a starter in 13 games for the Flames, recording 38 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, and six pass breakups.


A graduate transfer from UNC, Johnson played three seasons for the Tar Heels, making 14 catches for 157 yards in his career. Last season, Johnson, of Jonesville, S.C., saw action in two games as a reserve wideout and special teams player.

HOOPS BACK, SWIMMERS SIDELINED


The Louisville men's basketball team is back in action, but the UofL swimming and diving teams are out of the pool.


The swimmers were forced to suspend voluntary workouts due to three positive tests for Covid-19. Fifteen members of the swim teams were in phase one of the return to campus.


Meanwhile, the Cardinals' basketball team resumed voluntary workouts Monday after a two-week pause that began July 7 after two players tested positive.


Under NCAA guidelines, the basketball players are allowed to work with coaches and the weight training staff eight hours per week. That time will probably be split between four hours of instruction with the coaches and four with the conditioning staff.


UofL head coach Chris Mack is scheduled to speak to the media in a teleconference Thursday afternoon.

Russ Brown, a former sportswriter for The Courier-Journal and USA Today, covers University of Louisville sports and college football and basketball for Kentucky Today. He can be contacted at 0926.russ.brown@gmail.com.

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