If College Football Presses Pause, Here's Why


Clemson University Operates In Limited Capacity Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

It's the media's fault! No, it's Mark Emmert's fault! It's the NCAA's fault!

Everyone is looking for someone to blame if college football ends up delaying its 2020 season, to possibly even the spring or not returning until 2021 in the fall.

But there is no easy answer. Many parties are to blame. We, as a society is to blame more than anything. We still cannot control the spread of the virus and that remains challenging to not just the return of college football, but everything in our lives.

If college football presses pause it really is simple as to why. It's because the group that is really covering the story has given reasons for the pause. Not the media, who many think are rooting for the game to come to stop. Nope. It's the players.

You see, while everyone is screaming at each other on what to do, players are communicating. And by communicating, I don't mean about unions and a share of revenue. I mean about testing, safety and lack of communication.

Players are talking, texting, DMing and listening to what is going on. A player on one team talks with a friend who plays for someone else, maybe on a team in their conference and hears how his friend hasn't been tested in months. Another hears from a friend who says the number of positive tests and players in quarantine is 25 and those players are miserable in how they are being treated and a lack of communication. Someone else hears a friend had the virus and now weeks after testing negative has lingering effects. They are struggling to breathe and their sense of taste has not returned.

That is why we are where we are. Not because Mark Emmert screwed up. Not because a conference commissioner won't cave on financial demands of players.

Coaches and athletic directors began to hear the real story from the players and began to hear their concerns and fears. Many players may believe their school is doing a good job on testing and taking care of players but what about their opponents? And who monitors that when the season begins?

So why think it may be better to play in the spring? Because it may be a better time when the cost of testing comes down, the reliability of testing and the timing of testing may be better. We may be closer to vaccine in the spring, but the chance that cost, reliability and timing of testing could be better is why spring may be a better option. It may make players feel safer than the current climate.

For those screaming at Mark Emmert, they simply either have forgotten or don't care to educate themselves that the P5 conferences wanted this independent power. When they asked for autonomy, they got it because they had the votes and that stripped the NCAA/Emmert of any chance to control the sport.

For those screaming about testing, they likely don't even know the NCAA recently set a guideline for testing during the season and many screamed it was not enough. That may be true, but the reality of the cost of testing is legitimate and even P5 schools are challenged.

The NBA pays about $140 for a test and they are paying that price for the best testing available with the quickest result. Most colleges cannot afford half that amount, including P5 schools. 

So what happens if they press pause and try in the spring, won't players just be in more danger of getting the virus when they are home? Who said teams would be sending players home if they press pause on a fall season? It was amazing to watch the twitter storyline on Sunday on this topic.

I want a college football season and I want it on time. It is how I make a living. I want safety for all. Those who are screaming that college players are not at risk are naive. The best medical experts do not know the long term effects of the virus. And players are hearing from teammates and friends about issues they are dealing with who have had the virus.

Life is about managing risks sometimes. But we as a society need to manage the virus better. Until that happens, college football may have no choice to press pause. Hashtag movements on twitter by players are fine and their voices are being heard. Heck, it's why the pause button may get pressed.


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