Thursday, October 1, 2020

COLUMN: Is It Time to Cancel College Football?

By Trevor Terminie
IMC Student

This COVID-19 pandemic is full of unknowns. When the Big Ten and the Pac-12 canceled their fall sports seasons these unknowns were at the forefront of their decision. These conferences were not only investigating the present problems of the virus but future problems the virus could cause. The shutting down of fall sports is needed for all these conferences, and the Big Ten and Pac-12 were correct in doing so at this time.

The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 will have to follow suit, but the timing of their decision is already too late to avoid catastrophic consequences. Continuing to put these players and teams through grueling practices with the inevitable cancelation of the season looming is irresponsible and could potentially affect the health of players beyond the virus. The revenue hit that these schools will have to endure will be drastic, but tackling the problem now versus receiving lawsuits in the future over player safety from this pandemic will cost the universities even more. Moreover, with students returning to campus this fall, it is inevitable that players will interact and increase the likelihood that the virus is contracted.

Coaches make great points when describing their football atmosphere as safety bubbles for the players; however, now that students are back, that bubble has burst. The inevitable collapse of the rest of the Power Five conferences will happen over the coming weeks, as cases amongst students and student-athletes have already spiked and will continue to spike. 

College football and Collegiate sports are like no others. Every player wants to play, and every fan wants these players to play, including me. There has never been any doubt about that. Players such as Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields have led phenomenal campaigns to push for their seasons to be played. Seeing these guys and girls perform at the things they have loved for a long time would be something special for me to see. 

However, unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and it will hit home with these players when someone close to them is affected by COVID-19. All measures must be taken to keep the players, families, and fans safe from the unknowns, and the only way to do that is to cancel the seasons.   

*Editor’s note: This column is not reflective of the opinions of or the University of Mississippi.