Maybe everyone should follow the Ivy League's lead this time

Maybe everyone should follow the Ivy League's lead this time

Before Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, the sports world was continuing on with only minor inconveniences. College basketball conference tournaments were still being held, NBA and NHL games were being played, and the grand NCAA Tournament was still on the docket. 

The day prior to Gobert's bombshell test result, the Ivy League was the first notable sport or league to fully cancel an event. It decided not to hold its men's and women's basketball tournaments that were scheduled later in the week. 

Within 24 hours, the Ivy League canceled the rest of their spring sports.

Many were critical of the Ivy's decision, myself included, in how it felt rushed and an overreaction given how the country had yet to take the virus seriously. How could they make such a grand verdict when no one knew the gravity of the situation?

Turns out the smart people knew what was coming. 

Before the clock struck midnight, the NBA had shuttered its doors. The following day, the NHL, the NCAA and the rest of the sports world soon accompanied them. Months went by without a single team sporting event being held.


The Ivy League was the first to suggest the drastic concept of canceling sports. Despite those schools' (Yale, Harvard, Princeton, etc.) reputations as the highest regarded academic institutions, no one listened. We overreacted with our objection to that idea when we should have been following their lead.

These are the most well-informed people with insane IQs. No one listened until a prominent athlete tested positive forced their decision. 

Now, it is happening again. The Ivy League is canceling their fall sports season - football included. No Ivy League athlete will compete until at least January 1, 2021.

The wait suggests that they are hoping for a potential vaccine or better containment of the virus by that time.

For weeks and months, the NCAA and school officials across the country were working to try to avoid this reality. A world without college football is unimaginable. But, this is the first domino and other schools should heed their warning.

Initially, schools and other conferences will not accompany the Ivy's decision. All the schools within the conference are FCS programs and don't nearly rely on the revenue of their football programs as much as FBS schools. Last year, the Big Ten generated three times that of the Ivy just from football alone.

Losing football for even a season could decimate college athletic departments. Nearly all of these schools need that revenue to fund several other sports. Stanford already disbanded 11 sports programs. Several other departments have been gutted as well. 

What will make it financially worse for these schools is if they make all these precautions to have fall sports and then the sports are inevitably canceled. Sure, the Power 5 programs have much more at stake than the Ivy League in terms of monetary gain so they will hold out longer. Eventually, though, one school will deem it's not worth it. And then another and another. 

These athletes not even getting paid, like other professional leagues who restarted. In the Ivy League, they aren't even getting a scholarship for their education. All for what? Schools to profit off of these kids and for fans across the country to be happy?

How can a school justify jeopardizing the health and safety of a student-athlete when they get nothing out of it? If a collegiate athlete gets severely sick because of the coronavirus, the school is not paying for his or her treatment. Nor, do the athletes have million-dollar salaries to avoid drowning in debt incurred from any potential hospitalizations.  

There's no guarantee that these sports can be held safely. NASCAR and the NWSL are having success so far, but other professional leagues are running into issues left and right just to even have a bubble. Good luck attempting to try and wrangle 18-25 year-olds - who are not getting paid - to stay within a bubble on a college campus.

Ethically, it is not a justified decision for colleges to have sports right now. For the Ivy League, they rightfully put the health of their athletes above money.

Hopefully this time, the school presidents and athletic directors make a wise decision for their school and leagues. Hopefully, they are not forced into doing so like the rest of the sports world was back in March.

If we learned anything during this pandemic, maybe we should listen to the people who know what they're talking about. If that means no collegiate sports in the fall this year and we all have to wait until spring, then so be it. 

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Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Despite growing momentum to cancel the fall football season, the Big 12 reportedly is moving forward with their plans to play.

ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr. reported on Wednesday morning that the Big 12's board of directors met for over an hour yesterday to discuss the fallout of decisions made to postpone the fall season from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12. 

Following days of speculation the Big Ten would cancel fall sports, the conference officially pulled the plug Tuesday citing concerns of the myriad of complications that come along with playing a season during a pandemic. 

The Big 12, however, is leading the charge in trying to set up safe way to play the fall season. ESPN reported there will be revised conference-only schedules coming out shortly after the season was again pushed back to Sept. 26. Stadium reported the Big 12 may have more news. 

The decision also comes on the back of growing support from athletes to find a solution in making sure this season gets played. The face of college football, Trevor Lawrence, has repeatedly tweeted his stance that going forward with a season will actually be safer for the athletes

Whether or not more Power 5 sides like the SEC and ACC follow suit remains to be seen, but it is widely speculated that these football-crazed conferences are determined to find a way. 

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Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Less than a week ago, the Big Ten Conference released a 2020 conference-only football schedule. Though there were no guarantees it would be played amid the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like a positive step for college athletics.

Fast forward to Tuesday, and the Big Ten announced that the fall sports season would be no more. What caused the quick departure? According to commissioner Kevin Warren, it wasn't additional facts about COVID-19 and its impact, but rather the lack of them.

“There’s too much uncertainty," Warren said on Tuesday during an interview on the Big Ten Network. "We have a lot of uncertainty going on now.”

The coronavirus has been in the United States for several months now, but much is still unknown about its effects on the human body and society. While the Big Ten had been working diligently to provide its players and staff with testing and up-to-date protocols, not every possible outcome could be covered.

As Warren explained it, for each question that is answered in relation to COVID-19, a new one pops up. As the pandemic continues on, professionals continue to learn more about how it acts and what impact it can have both short and long term.

An example of that would be Myocarditis –– or the inflammation of the heart muscle -- which has been found in several college athletes and linked to the coronavirus. Not initially considered to be a factor of the virus, it's now become a major concern for the Big Ten and other conferences.

That's just one aspect of the unknown Warren and others are dealing with. Taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, Warren also noted that the COVID-19 questions go beyond the field. It's a problem the entire world is dealing with.

“It’s not only in the Big Ten. I think just across the country and in the world there is so much uncertainty about this virus," Warren said.

In the end, while Warren feels the conference has done a solid job of protecting players during workouts in the summer, there was still too much to be learned before he and others could feel comfortable resuming collegiate sports.

Now, with hopes to resume in the spring, Warren and other Big Ten officials will head out in search of the answers that will eliminate the unknown of the virus. Just like how society strives to return to normal, continuing to learn will be the only way to make it possible.

“We’ll gather information, prepare, plan and create an environment that our students-athletes will be able to participate in when it’s safe and there’s less uncertainty," Warren said. 

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