The Big East Is Thinking About Isolating Its Basketball Players In A Bubble 

   Call it what it is: pro basketball.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much pulled the curtain on the Wizard of Oz like veil of college sports. The big-time sports playing colleges and universities who have pushed the student-athlete narrative are making their student-athletes play games during a pandemic that the federal government has failed to contain. For those schools, getting the games on television is essential for the money train. The basketball playing Big East Conference college and university presidents and chancellors want to get a league schedule played and the adults who run the institutions are thinking about isolating the student-athletes. How this would work is still being discussed but a bubble as used by the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League required professional athletes to initially be separated from their families staying at hotels and being monitored daily for COVID-19 through testing. How you do that with unpaid college student-athletes is a question mark. The Big East seemingly has an outline of a plan.

The Big East would start the season in mid-December and possibly create a bubble on various campuses. The league officials want each team to play one another twice but not necessarily with each team traveling to other campuses because that might be too risky in the colder months during the flu season. The conference would like to get the games in between the first and second semester of the school year played because after all their non-paid employees are supposed to be attending classes. It would be somewhat difficult to put student-athletes in isolation at a Connecticut casino, if that is where the bubble is placed, and have all of them attend classes. After all, the athletes are students matriculating at a place of higher education. COVID-19 has stripped college sports of any pretense of being an amateur activity. Big-time college sports is a big business like the pros.

Yeshiva University players, foreground, warm up in a mostly empty Goldfarb Gymnasium at Johns Hopkins University before playing against Worcester Polytechnic Institute in a first-round game at the men’s Division III NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, March 6, 2020, in Baltimore, The university held the tournament without spectators after cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Maryland. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)