Just another obstacle that’s all.
It is common knowledge that big-time college sports look at their unpaid but scholarship aided student-athletes as just dollars signs. But do the parents of these unpaid but scholarship aided student-athletes the think way? Apparently, some parents do. In the worst public health crisis in the United States since the start of the 1918 flu pandemic, some big-time amateur sports leagues that depend on student-athletes playing a game to bring tens of millions of dollars in annually to individual schools have decided to play football. On Saturday, the University of Oklahoma which is part of the Big 12 announced that nine of its players had COVID-19. College football opened its doors in June for so-called voluntary practices. Since then, the industry has seen a good number of COVID-19 cases but these student-athletes are young and will recover and should be on the field. It is their jobs.
From the school perspective, student-athletes come and go. They provide entertainment for people whose lives are wrapped around watching for the most part anonymous 18 to 21-year olds who come and go. Only a handful of players who perform well on the field are popular. People who continue to watch and root for certain college programs are rooting for bodies in dirty laundry. Once a college football player is gone, he is mostly forgotten. Some parents who are upset with Ohio State, Iowa and Penn State for not allowing their sons to perform and have a chance at the pro level. The parents acknowledge that football is a risky game but COVID-19 is just another risk. COVID-19 must be on par with brain injuries or permanent pain because of the pounding players get. Somehow the concussion issue has been placed on the backburner. Some student-athletes have opted out because of COVID-19. But the games must go on, money talks.