The comments in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of NightMoves and AAN
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused an upheaval in lives and professions all over the world. It has caused record numbers of deaths of every age as they discover that this virus has no restrictions regarding age. It has caused millions of people worldwide to go jobless, homeless, suicide rates are sky high and while the numbers are going down in some places, the opposite is taking place elsewhere as numbers continue to spike. Here in the U.S. not only have we seen record numbers of cases and deaths, but also record numbers of unemployment, businesses shutting down, some for good and riots, looting, protests, movements and a chaotic situation coast to coast like never before.
Then there is the world of sports, a mental and emotional get away for millions of fans even in good times. Now that the NHL, NBA and MLB are back under strict restrictions and safety protocol, sports fans are getting some much needed relief from the stress this pandemic has put on everyone. However, now comes a very huge, very serious question and the upcoming college football season? Will it go on as usual and become the extra added release football fans need and want? Over the past few days it is beginning to look more and more like there may not be a college football season to enjoy. Conferences are voting not to play at all, the Big Ten and PAC 12 voted not to play this season, some conferences will only play in conference games for safety reasons regarding the virus. With the Big Ten and PAC 12 cancelling, how many more will follow suit? Some players have opted out of their college football scholarships preferring not to risk their health. Some conferences have lost teams and have had to hastily rework schedules for the upcoming season, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The bottom line is simply this. If college football is totally cancelled for this season the schools would stand to lose 4 billion dollars in revenue, yes that is with a “B”. Included in that is the big million dollar paydays some of the smaller schools get by playing a major university like Michigan, Florida, Ohio St. etc. That is money these smaller schools count on for their programs, scholarships, improvements and well being of the school. That would be a tremendous blow to these schools and would take several years to make up, not mention putting on hold many programs and improvements. Besides the wins and losses on the field there is a lot at stake off the field for every college and university involved regardless of whether it’s a school like Wofford or Alabama, big or small doesn’t matter. The trickle down effect on local businesses in these college towns will be disastrous.
For me personally, I was really on the fence with this issue, just as I am with NFL and not sure their going ahead is a great idea. However, after reading the comments of Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and Alabama head coach Lou Saban (who I am not a fan of), I have to agree that playing, under strict safety rules, would be a lot better and safer than cancelling the season. The points they both make carry a lot of weight and make plenty of sense in many ways regarding these athletes. It is a far different situation for these college players than it is for the players in the NFL on many different levels. Check out the comments and reasoning from Lawrence and Saban here: https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb
What the eventual outcome will be with the major conferences we should know by week’s end. We do know that there are more than two dozen individual schools in the FBS that have opted not to play this 2020 season. So keep watching to see how this whole thing turns out. Whichever way it does play there will still be pros and cons about the final decisions. The main objective all of these schools have to decide on in making their final decision……………..is it worth it?
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves Magazine and AAN