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Blissful, bumpy journey to game day for USF’s Jeff Scott


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Published Yesterday
Updated Yesterday

TAMPA — An ESPNU audience likely will see Jeff Scott’s most animated version of himself Saturday night. During his debut as USF coach, Scott’s bound to pace and perspire, fist-bump, perhaps even fume.

But regardless of what transpires against The Citadel, fans can bet their big screens on what he’s certain not to do.

Blink.

When you’ve spent nine months walking a seismic college landscape, when you’ve concurrently immersed yourself in social justice and social distance, when you’ve wept over the birth of your biological son and the anguish of your surrogate ones, nothing really makes you bat an eye anymore.

“There’s not much that you can tell me or (athletic director) Michael Kelly that could get us to blink,” Scott said.

“You could tell me whatever you want to say, that we’re canceling the game this week and we’re flying to Hawaii instead, and we’ll say, ‘All right, good, let’s go put the plan together.’”

Scott’s situation is hardly unique. Twenty-three other Division I-A programs hired new coaches in the offseason, which happened to be the most turbulent one of the modern era. Hardly any had a spring camp to speak of. All have had to install their systems virtually, to build relationships via video conferencing.

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