It appears that we’ll be enjoying college football as scheduled in 2020. The gate-keepers of the sport are remaining optimistic that an August 29 season kick-off will take place. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen without some road bumps, though.
For example, per CNN, 23 members of the Clemson football team have tested positive for COVID-19.
Cnn: “At least 28 Clemson University athletes and staff have tested positive for coronavirus, including 23 football players, according to the university’s athletics department. “
The University of Tennessee has also reported this week that one male athlete has tested positive for COVID-19 as well.
Is a return to “business as usual” what’s best for college athletes? That’s something we all need to ask ourselves as fans. Historically the NCAA has proven that they will always put money above the welfare of student-athletes. So, why would this be any different?
It appears that at least 30 players from UCLA agree. They’ve presented a document that claims that they do not trust UCLA to act in their best interest, especially when it comes to their health.
Los Angeles Times: “The document, reviewed by the Los Angeles Times late Thursday, asserts that players do not trust UCLA to act in their best interest, particularly in regard to their health, a realm where it says the school has “perpetually failed us,” citing “neglected and mismanaged injury cases.” The document does not provide examples.”
There was a bunch of buzz that they didn’t trust Chip Kelly, specifically. Which would make sense, right? Because, if we look at his track record, he’s not a big “care about players a human” kind-of-guy.
I decided to do some investigative journalism with a capital J for this one. No real decision has been made in regards to fans yet. But, let’s just say that greed usually prevails. The NCAA is involved after all.
Let’s explore college football stadiums in comparison to COVID-19 numbers in their states. For sake of brevity, we’ll only look at the top 7 college football stadiums by possible attendance.
Do you they should play games with fans at full capacity? … or not?
Again, these are just my opinions. Although, I’m pretty smart. Likely smarter than you. So, my “opinion” should hold weight.
Stadium capacity: 107,601
Covid-19 situation: We’re starting off strong here. Michigan is a national success story in the COVID game. They’ve been successfully flattening the curve. They only had 211 new cases as of June 18 reporting.
Should they play: I mean, if anyone has a case to make. It’s Michigan.
Fun fact. I’m a Notre Dame fan, so I’d prefer if Michigan never played a game again for the rest of college football’s history. But, I digress.
Stadium capacity: 106,572
Covid-19 situation: Again, we have good news here. Contrary to what the mouth breathers on my Facebook time-line seem to believe, it appears that the aggressive steps taken by Gov. Wolf have paid off. Pennsylvania has been fairly successful at flattening that Covid curve. In the past week, PA has only reported 504 new cases.
Should they play: Things are headed in the right direction. I live here, so I’m not stoked on 100,000+ idiots from all of the state packing into a stadium, getting sick, and bringing COVID back to every corner of the state. But, I guess they have a case to make as well.
Stadium capacity: 102,733
Covid-19 situation: It appears that everything IS bigger in Texas. For example; the amount of positive Covid-19 cases has skyrocketed since Memorial Day. Both Austin AND San Antonio have been named new “COVID hot spots.”
Should they play: Probably not. Being named a “hot spot” isn’t really an honor when it comes to Covid-19. I mean, out of anyone, Texas has been recording record numbers day-over-day. They should probably be the LAST place in the country to have a stadium with 100,000+ people in it.
Stadium Capacity: 102,455
Covid-19 situation: Well, our friends at the Tennessee Health Department reported a record-high of 1,188 new Covid-19 cases in Tennessee yesterday. I’m not a scientist, but that doesn’t seem like a good thing. Also, form the looks of it… the curve in Tennessee is headed in the wrong direction as well.
Should they play: I mean, Tennessee has been the laughing stock of the SEC since 1998 anyway… what more do they have to lose?
Stadium capacity: 102,321
Covid-19 situation: Louisiana as a whole was doing an excellent job of “controlling” the Covid outbreak. They spiked really high and did bring the numbers down. They haven’t however flattened the curve at all so to speak. They’ve just maintained better numbers than they had at their worst point. Still not good. But… better.
Should they play: Well… Louisiana saw nearly 900 new cases as of Saturday (today). “It’s a big state,” you might argue. It appears that at least 100 of those cases can be directly attributed to LSU-based bars. Another big cluster was directly attributed to an LSU graduation party. So… there’s that. Should they play? I mean… the stadium IS known as DEATH VALLEY.
Stadium capacity: 102,082
Covid-19 situation: Ohio was doing great. They had a really strong early response to covid-19. But, many health experts are worried that “covid fatigue” is setting in and people are getting careless. They’re reported back-to-back days of “higher than normal” numbers. That’s 600 new cases for those of you keeping score at home.
Should they play: Probably not. But, Urban Meyer of all people, is out there trolling poor Michigan (who is being safe) with scumbag tweets like this from his restaurant. He never was one to follow the rules. Right? Cheater.
Stadium capacity: 101,821
Covid-19 situation: “To infinity and beyond.” I think that’s the slogan that Alabama is using for the rise of their Covid-19 cases. They cases keep going up. The state government has decided to kind of just let it play out. Kind of like “Lord of the Flies.” But, with a lower average IQ and far less impulse control.
Should they play: No. They’ve won enough games, they can sit this one out.
Soooooo. What are my overall thoughts? If college football is being played this year, it should be played without fans. Stuffing millions of people into stadiums across the country this late summer/fall is a recipe for disaster.
I love college football. But, I don’t think it’s worth anyone dying over.