The NBA, WNBA, MLS and NWSL have proven that life in the ‘bubble’ isn’t so bad.
In fact, just the opposite. The players, coaches and team personnel are making good choices inside a safe environment while continuing along their seasons while the rest of the world is trying to navigate uncharted waters that is the coronavirus pandemic.
At first, the concept of a bubble was sort of laughable: no duos for ping-pong; separated lockers in the locker roos; designating walking paths… but you can’t argue the results. Zero positive tests of COVID within the bubble.
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Now with the college football world in a hiatus and lacking the necessary leadership it needs, two of the five Power 5 conferences have cancelled their 2020 fall sports season while the other three have released new conference-only schedules starting in late September.
For those two Power 5 conferences - Pac-12 and Big Ten - who have pushed all athletic activity back to January 1, would the concept of a bubble work in college football?
100 percent yes.
SiriusXM Pac12 Radio Host Mike Yam joined host Jordan Kent on the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast to discuss the potential and
I think the NBA has shown the only model that is successful when it comes to athletics is that bubble… on a college campus, right now, this is an optimal time and that’s why you can point to low testing numbers in the Pac-12 conference for a lot of these student-athletes… The bigger question is what happens when you have thousands of kids… congregating in one location. — Mike Yam
As the college football world was spinning out of control and rumors flying off the shelves before any decisions on 2020 were made, the players attempted to salvage the fall season and sway the decision-making in their favor through the #WeAreUnited and #WeWantToPlay movements.
Players were making the case that they would feel safer on campus, getting tested constantly and being around others that were doing the same. Just look at what professional sports and specifically NFL is doing, through constant testing, nose swabs, drawing blood, social distancing, and wearing masks even through workouts and walk-throughs.
Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens jumped on a Zoom call with members of local media Thursday morning and weighed in on the potential bubble:
Our student-athletes - football included - that were here over the summer that we on-boarded did a phenomenal job and our testing results showed that. They really embraced the protocols. The culture that our coaches have built, Mario [Cristobal] has done a phenomenal job. Our medical team did an amazing job. And our student-athletes really embraced and understood what it would take to really stay safe and give us the best chance of advancing through what went through to voluntary workouts then expanded to more meetings and then walk-throughs… — Rob Mullens
A bubble can work. The Pac-12 and Big Ten will just have to wait until January 1 to find out.