While it seemed like common sense to some of us months ago, others are now realizing the cold hard reality that we are now well on track to be without college football season this year–or perhaps not as originally scheduled.
For months, this has been a topic of discussion and while we don’t really know much more now than we did in March, all you have to do is read the room.
Numbers across the country are skyrocketing and that includes a trend of various athletic departments from coast to coast reporting concerning numbers of positive Covid-19 cases.
As players have made their way back to campus for voluntary workouts and team meetings, infection rates among teams and athletic departments overall are coming to light. And it is not pretty.
Right now Covid-19 is up 14-0 on college football and the fighting virus is driving the ball right down the field after failed attempts by the entire country to flatten the curve and slow the spread. Can we right the ship before this is a blowout?
The rising number of cases among football teams is cause for concern. I’m not really buying into the herd immunity strategy for now as who knows when we will have a vaccine and who the heck wants to sign up to jump in line for that once it becomes available anyways?
As far as we know, getting the virus doesn’t guarantee you absolutely will not contract it again. So the thought or suggestion that perhaps some teams are purposely exposing players to the virus now so they are stronger and immune for the season (if there is one at all) is outrageous. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Boomer.
For those that didn’t hear, on Monday’s edition of Boomer and Gio, Esiason hinted that some teams–such as Clemson who have reported a high number of positive cases– and others in the SEC could be doing it on purpose.
Yes. During a world pandemic, coaches are facilitating a purposeful spread of a virus that has shaken up the entire world and led to many untimely deaths. I know college football is wild and people can do some stupid things but c’mon dude.
Sure, most college athletes are probably healthy and strong enough to survive the virus but tell that story to the parents and family of the player who eventually will become the first on record to pass away from the virus.
I will say some teams have reported far lower numbers so far (in comparison to those “schools down south”) while some have elected to not report positive cases at all.
Per Brett McMurphy, Maryland’s preliminary testing of 105 student-athletes produced zero positive results. Michigan tested 322 student-athletes and coaches/staff for Covid-19 and have had only two positive tests. Michigan State conducted testing on 41 student-athletes on Monday.
At Kansas, 164 student-athletes were tested initially and 16 people tested positive (12 of those being football players). Of 117 tests at Wisconsin, two athletes were positive. Of 197 test of football players and staff at Texas Tech, 23 tested positive.
We all knew the season could be in danger if Covid-19 wasn’t under better control as we take on the dog days of summer. However, on Wednesday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster made it official and crystal clear–he won’t allow high school or college sports to move forward in South Carolina if folks can’t get their act together.
McMaster sitting in his office Wednesday evening on a teleconference with Dabo Swinney, Will Muschamp like:
“If we want to go into the fall with school openings and football games and all that goes into that with celebrations and gatherings, we must control the spread of the virus,” McMaster said. “Take this thing seriously. If everyone does that, then we’ll be in good shape. If there are people who don’t do that, we will not be in good shape.”
This comes as DHEC announced 1,497 cases and a new high of 24 deaths in the state due to Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has launched a “Wear a Mask Tour” and stated on Wednesday “college football in the fall would be a tall task” if Georgians don’t wear masks when out in public.
“If people, especially our young people, don’t start wearing a mask when they’re going out in public and our numbers keep rising, that’s going to be a tall task. But if we all hunker down right now, and dig in the next two or three weeks, we can get this turned in the right direction,” Kemp said according to a report by the AJC.
Tennessee Athletic Director Phillip Fulmer made it clear where he stands on the big debate about wearing masks and most importantly the importance of “compliance” today so that we all enjoy football–as scheduled– this fall.
Another big development this week came out of the USC where the LA Times reported most classes will be held off campus/online this semester amid the recent surge in cases across California. Not exactly the most reassuring news that USC Trojan football will be played if students aren’t on campus.
Athletic Departments are having to shut down programs left and right due to the financially crippling aftermath of the pandemic and there’s no sign of it stopping anytime soon. Morehouse College, an HBCU in Atlanta, seems to have taken the lead nobody really wanted in shutting down fall sports operations outright for the 2020 season.
There is so much we still don’t know about this horrible virus but I just can’t wrap my mind around how people are so against either staying at home or just using common sense if they decide to go out and wearing a mask and social distacting to slow the spread.
We are all tired, frustrated, bored, annoyed and all the above. I get it. But we should all be at least trying to do out part to help slow down this new surge and give ourselves the opportunity to do the things we really enjoy these next few months of 2020 without some of the recent restrictions.
Not to mention the longer this drags on, families will continue to have the limited capacity/shortened funerals for loved ones, couples will have to reimagine their long-awaited weddings as planned, and the list just goes on and on for things we have taken for granted. None of that will be allowed to go back to “normal” if the spread continues so rapidly.
Maybe as fans, it will be 2021 before we can actually walk into a stadium and watch football. But watching from the couch in 2020 is better than nothing at all.
Think about the players (especially the seniors and the ones who need football to stay motivated to graduate high school or need this season for the opportunity to earn a college scholarship) think about the small groups, little league teams and other organizations that work in the concession stands for fundraising purposes, think about stadium workers and ushers who rely on that money made during the season, think about those folks outside of sports that need to return to work or find a job to provide for their family, think about the children that need to return to school safely and resume routine learning and reunite with their buddies. Think about all the families that weren’t even allowed to say their goodbyes to loved ones under medical care due to this virus. Think of someone other than yourself. Be a team player and wear the dang mask.
We’re down but we aren’t out. It’s time to make some halftime adjustments and come out strong in the second half. Don’t be the one that holds us back from victory.
The comeback starts now. Spot the ball.