Welcome to the shitshow already in progress, Big 10.
After three weeks of SEC football, the first conference game has been postponed due to the coronavirus.
Mizzou and Vanderbilt were supposed to play this Saturday. But, yesterday, Vandy announced they will not have enough scholarship athletes required to compete in a SEC game — i.e., there are COVID-19 cases on the team and others are quarantining after coming into close contact with them.
Baylor will also miss their third game of the season due to a “significant increase” in COVID cases in the football program. The Bears, too, will not have enough scholarship players to compete.
According to Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades, there are 32 active cases among student athletes — 28 of whom are football players. Another 14 positives have been found on the football staff.
Both Vanderbilt and Baylor will look to reschedule their games for December 12.
The University of Florida, meanwhile, paused team activities Tueday as five more positive COVID tests emerged in its football program, putting Saturday’s game in jeopardy. By Tuesday afternoon, the number of positive tests had ballooned to 19.
All this unfortunate, yet incredibly predictable, news of outbreaks and postponements comes on the heels of weeks of college football cancelations. Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, BYU, UNC-Charlotte, and more have had their own team clusters and have had to reschedule games.
Even Kansas head coach, Les Miles, caught the virus last Thursday and could still coach… this weekend.
These infections are not a surprise to anyone paying just a little attention to college football or college campuses in 2020. Since school reopened, universities across the country have become vectors for disease.
So far, the New York Times has reported 178,000 cases at over 1,700 U.S. colleges and Universities since the outbreak began. In that same time, the entire country of Canada has recorded 182,832 cases.
Institutions of higher learning have, in many cases, encouraged Zoom sessions to keep their students safe, yet they look the other way when other students (athletes) go off campus to play a game that generates revenue for the university.
When Big Ten presidents decided to overturn their decision to postpone the fall sports season last month, the conference did so without considering the outbreaks at their own schools or that weekly testing for athletes might not be fair to every other other student who is also on campus and at risk of contracting this disease.
The Big Ten probably does know what’s in store for them, as we all do. At the rate this college football season is going, more outbreaks and more rescheduling await any college team looking to play this fall.
We know why college football is back. And it’s not because it’s any safer than it was months ago.
At this point, we know that any infection, postponed games, long-term health effects, or stadium ticket sales will be “worth it” for the University bottom line. Sadly, probably not so much for the unpaid labor forced into it. You know, the humans out their risking their lives to make that cash for old, white men.