It has been three months since college football season has started, and Covid-19 is still affecting the season on a weekly basis. Just this week, seven games have been canceled or postponed due to the virus and a copious amount of players having to quarantine. Despite many complications with the season due to the virus, the Board of Directors approved all championship games to be played in the spring.
These college athletes do not get paid, and yet they are being forced to consistently risk their health every time they go out onto the field. Huge outbreaks have happened within individual franchises, one including 28 players and 14 staff members from the Baylor program contracting the virus.
The argument that has been made for bringing back college football is that the players are all quite young so the virus will not affect them as detrimentally. However, 15 percent of NCAA athletes that contracted the virus got myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart and has long term complications. Many of the conferences promised that adequate safety precautions will happen, but it seems like not very much has changed. The players have been told that they are able to opt-out of the season, but it seems like the choice has already been made for them.
A University of Utah coach stated, “At least in our program, we don’t have an opt out. And it’s not an option. If you opt out, you’re not with us.”
There are also no protocols in place for how Covid data is getting collected or analyzed by any of the programs. Some conferences test their coaches and players everyday, whereas others test only three times a week,which provides ranging data when it comes to determining if a team is healthy enough to play a game in time.
With countless college students partying on game days, it seems like having a college football season has done more harm than good with infections. The most notable example of this is from a Notre Dame game, where photos were posted of the students partying in massive groups after a win against Clemson; without masks. Yes, college football does keep us entertained and is something to look forward to during the week to watch our favorite alumni, but is it really worth all of the risks?