College Football In The COVID-19 Era Is A Risky Business

Still there are people who want college football. 

There seems to be an awful lot of people from the President of the United States to various coaches to the parents of college football players to the players themselves who want to see the college football season start. This would have been the second weekend of the college football season but most conferences canceled their schedules because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There still are some football alliances that plan to forge ahead including the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 and the Southeast Conference. The presidents and the chancellors of the schools that play in those conferences seem to think that COVID-19 won’t be a problem for the players or those who are allowed in stadiums to watch games. Schools in those conferences that intend to play football include the University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina and Auburn University. All have reported a good number of COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks. Apparently, the thinking is young people could get the virus, it is probably cold or flu like and the young people will recover without significant harm. Of course, that is not true as young people have died from the virus.

But why the push? Fans, who don’t care about the players personally, want to be entertained by performers who don’t get paid and are not employees of colleges and universities, The players do bring a lot of revenue for the schools from television, ticket sales, marketing partners and boosters who want to be part of the team. The term “student-athlete” is a dodge that allows schools to claim the players are not employed by the colleges or universities which allows the schools to get away with not paying or providing care for the “student-athletes”. For some parents and some athletes, they see college as a springboard to a lucrative pro career. COVID-19 is a serious illness but football is more important to some.