COVID-19, Title IX and social media are problems.
This has not been a good March so far for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In its rush to madness, the NCAA no longer has a bona fide men’s basketball tournament. One of its teams, Virginia Commonwealth University, could not make it onto the court because a number of people within the program tested positive for COVID-19. The VCU matchup with Oregon was tabled and declared no contest. Oregon moved along to the next round of competition. VCU was not given much of a chance to succeed by oddsmakers, and yes, a big part of the popularity of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament or March Madness is propelled by betting, but anything can happen in one game. The NCAA is really not all that concerned about the health of its so called “student-athletes” or anyone connected to the various programs taking part in the madness. There is money to be made and that trumps everything in the world of college basketball and college sports business. As long as there are five healthy bodies available, a team will play in the tournament.
The NCAA also had to deal with another significant problem. Social media featured an attack on Ohio State’s E. J. Liddell who received a death threat on social media. Social media companies seem to have some sort of vague code of conduct agreement which seems to be at best enforced sporadically. The Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith kind of said he was going to get authorities involved but social media companies don’t seem to care all that much about a breach of community conduct. Meanwhile, the NCAA turned back the clock to 1971, pre-Title IX days, and decided women athletes should be second class citizens and not get equal treatment with men in preparing for the women’s tournament. It’s madness.