• phil cantor/@osgphil

College Football's virus problems are our problems too



By now, much like everything else in the universe, we've all picked sides about which College Football conference is right and which is wrong about playing football in 2020.


Since we're all experts, we all think we know best and if the decision isn't the one you agreed with, you probably are mocking the other side. It's now what we do.


But, if for just a minute, you actually sat there and put some thought to it, you might come to the understanding there is no easy or simple answer or basis of reasoning for either perspective.


Why? Well, it's complicated....


Trying to navigate down those rabbit holes without getting too political or too deep into medical talk (an area I know next to nothing about) is difficult but at the same time it also explains why we're in the dilemma we currently face.


In many ways, the Big 10 and Pac 12 bailing on 2020 fall sports with the ACC and SEC staying the course is parallel to the current universe. Let's face the facts, there's a certain percentage of the U.S in denial about what is going on with the Coronavirus. And to be honest, we really haven't done a very good job trying to combat it.


College sports are not professional sports, the pros can create a bubble or isolate players without too many problems, college's cannot. That's a problem. You can sit there and spout off that college kids aren't likely to die from getting the virus. And you'd be right. But they are beginning to show up as the least responsible demographic in society too.


That's a problem.


The fact the Big 10 and Pac 12 have medical opinions that are different than the ACC and SEC is a perfect microcosm of the divide. Nobody is 100% sure what is right and what is wrong. Nobody has the perfect answer on the health issues and repercussions of allowing a kids who've had the virus to play. Or for that matter the ability for those kids to spread the virus.


The question is this: Why if the "Power 5" are supposed to be the leaders of College Football, do they not have the same panel of medical advisors? Why are they not all working and operating with the same information?


It's a really good question that goes back to the crux of most COVID related confusion: Leadership.


There's no leadership in College Football. None. The NCAA, they can't tell the Power 5 schools what to do. Period. They can advise, suggest or recommend but can't order anything. That's a problem.


The NCAA has more sway over the Group of 5 schools and the lower levels of football, but not the Power 5.


Much like the U.S, there's no leader saying this is what we should all do, it's mostly a bunch of individuals saying "not my problem".


That's why you aren't getting Ohio State vs. Michigan or Oregon vs. Oregon State or any other conference rivalry game. That's why we're in the pickle we currently sit.


Do I believe the ACC will start play on Sept. 9th? Do I believe the SEC will start on Sept. 26th? Yes, I do. Should they be playing? Well, it is not for me to say. If they believe they can safely pull it off, then yeah, sure, play.


What does this all mean? I'm not sure. It probably means we'll get some football this fall. There are still three Group of 5 conferences planning to play as well.


Will there be Spring Football? No. Doing that would be a bad idea for everyone involved. If you aren't playing in the fall, don't play. Spring Football doesn't accomplish anything.


What about the players? Don't buy the line they'll go home and be at bigger risk of getting infected then if they were on campus. Why? Because they are still college students and are supposed to be on campus. Will it hurt the ones with NFL aspirations? Yeah, a little. They won't have this season of video for NFL teams to study. But if you were NFL ready before, you will still be NFL ready, that likely won't change. It just means NFL scouts need to do a better job this season.


At the end of the day, if you don't care about all of this, remember one thing. THIS IS ALL NEW. None of us have ever dealt with anything like this before. None of us know for sure what COVID-19 can or will do to any of us. If you look long enough or hard enough, you can find some sort of report that will accommodate what you'd like to believe.


Despite their woefully bad public response, you can't hammer the Big 10 or Pac 12 for making their decisions. It's their decision to make. No, it may not all be for the reasons you think, but someone has to make the decision.


You also can't fault the ACC or SEC for moving forward. It's their choice. They are doing what they think is best.


Nobody knows who's right and none of us are in a position to call it for either side.


It's just a crying ass shame they couldn't all get together as a group and look at the same evidence and try to come up with a consensus between all 5 conferences. It makes way more sense for them to act as a united group than a bunch of individuals.


But then again, that requires actual leadership and communicating with opposing points of views, something here in the U.S. as a whole and College Athletics as a group are totally lacking...and it won't be resolved anytime soon.

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