Are you surprised that college campuses are becoming hot spots for a deadly disease which in turn is infecting football teams, causing them to shut down and postpone games?
No, you shouldn’t be.
Last week, Notre Dame postponed their football game with Wake Forest after learning that 7 players had contracted COVID. This week, the school announced that number has gone up to 18.
25 players, total, are in isolation and 14 more are in quarantine after being identified as close contact to the infected athletes. That’s 39 players out, about a third of the entire roster.
ND and it’s football program have been struggling with COVID since students returned to campus. When school began in August, cases spiked to 304, and 5 football players tested positive. The outbreak caused students to learn virtually and football players to (eventually) stop practicing.
According to the New York Times college COVID tracker, the school has had 704 cases since the pandemic began.
Additionally, several midwestern states, including Indiana, have seen an increase and plateau in COVID cases since July.
Other schools across the country have become hot beds for disease, too, and athletic programs have not been spared.
Multiple college football games have been canceled or postponed due to team outbreaks. The University of South Florida, Notre Dame’s last opponent, postponed their game against Florida Atlantic after they learned of the Irish outbreak. And at the University of Houston, the football team was supposed to open their season on September 19, but they haven’t played a game yet. Every one of the Cougars’ opponents has had a team outbreak. Houston will play their season opener against Tulane next Thursday, October 8th, nearly a month behind schedule.
The Irish have a bye this week but they are still scheduled to play Florida State next Saturday, October 10, in South Bend.
Notre Dame and every other school with a football program and positive tests will continue to play until it is physically impossible to do so. There is too much TV money on the table and too many tickets to sell — even at limited capacity.
It is also the height of hypocrisy when Notre Dame president, Reverend John Jenkins, asks his University to wear masks and socially distance only to be seen maskless in a crowded White House ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett.
Earlier this month, Senator Cory Booker, a former football player at Stanford, spoke to Deadspin about the college athletes bill of rights and the NCAA at large. Before college football kicked off, he said;
“The unfortunate truth is that the NCAA has failed generations of young men and women even when it comes to their most basic responsibility — keeping the athletes under their charge healthy and safe.”
So, should you be surprised that the NCAA is continuing to fail at their most basic responsibility?
The answer, again, is no — you shouldn’t be.