What About Luke Ford?

August 11, 2020

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ATHENS - I started thinking about what it means for the Big Ten to be cancelled for a season, and I could only think of one player. 

No, not Justin Fields, who has played two full seasons of college football and is likely done with the sport after today’s decision from the Big Ten. What about Luke Ford? I mean what did this guy do to get the college experience he’s gotten so far?

He spent his first year at Georgia playing nine games - making a catch - as UGA rolled its way to another appearance in the SEC Championship. Ford then decided to transfer to non-power Illinois to be closer to his grandfather, who passed away. The NCAA allowed a slew of immediate transfers to go through - and continues to - but Ford’s request was denied. That decision made almost no sense. Now he’s going to miss another fall of football because of the Big Ten’s decision.  

This is unfair. 

Life is unfair. 

The truth is that unfair things happen to people who have done nothing to deserve it each day in the world. Life can also treat those who don’t deserve it far more fairly than they deserve (and I am not talking about Justin Fields; folks are going to be far too joyful about his college experience being cut short on days like today). 

The Big Ten made the best decision for itself and its members as it saw it today. The Pac-12 followed. The SEC and ACC, and perhaps Big 12, appear to be doing the same thing, but reaching a different conclusion about playing in the fall. 

I am sure a holy war will ensue about all of the decisions. I should correct myself - a holy war has started about all of the decisions. We are in our tribes, and we are ready to fight. This is what we do. Welcome to America 2020. We can’t agree that the sky is blue let alone what colleges should be doing this fall. 

But Ford must be wonder what in the world he has to do to play a normal season of college football in the Big Ten. By the time Fields plays his first pre-season NFL game, Ford will be entering his fourth fall camp. He’s got one catch.


In an area of the country where the topping freezing mark is an accomplishment in February and at times in March, there is no certainty that a spring season will happen. 

Ford, and all of us, might be waiting another year to actually hear someone strike up the band. If the Big 12 decides to be done with college football, the sport is probably done for the fall. That would be awful. It would be one miserable way to spend a nearly two-year period. I’m telling you - I would be miserable; you would be miserable; tens of thousands of people would be miserable without college football. 

But in a world were you can’t always get what you want, and you don’t even get what you deserve at times, I have one basic thing I want Luke Ford to know: 

If this is the worst thing that happens to you in your life, being cheated out of a college experience you have fought and worked so hard for, then you are doing OK. Today, a day where two of the five major college conferences in America, punted on their major money maker, marketing arm and source of pride, is brutal for players, coaches and fans in those areas of the country. 

But again, this learning lesson should be absorbed as much as possible. You will get bad news in your life. That news won’t change just becuase you want it to. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. Sometimes you don’t even get what you have earned. 

Life, indeed, can be very difficult at times. 

But all of the time you have to move on to the next day until there are not more next days to go. 

I’ll be cheering for Luke Ford here soon. I just don’t know when.

Tags: 2020
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