Hey everyone, Michigan State football is the latest “Doofus” in the college game.
The entire team is in quarantine for the next 14 days after COVID-19 tests came back positive for a player and a staffer.
It seems like at this point we’re beating a dead horse, but why is college football season even peaking the horizon in the distance? When the season arrives there won’t be time to quarantine an entire program.
It should have been shut down a while ago because there is clearly no plan.
Update: On, Saturday Rutgers announced six players tested positive for COVID-19 and will be quarantining its entire program for 14 days.
Players have been speaking out on Twitter over the past month, beginning with Illinois linebacker Milo Eifler, whose comments were met with resistance from his program. Illinois postponed his media availability that week after he discussed his concerns about the upcoming season with Athletic Director Josh Whitman.
The program made it clear he had to run his comments by leadership before speaking publicly — a reflection of a larger ownership-player model entrenched into professional sports.
Why should he have to approve his human instinctive concerns with anyone? There’s a pandemic going on and he is being asked to put his existence on the line for a buck.
Michigan State’s four-year starting offensive tackle Jason Reid took to Twitter shortly after the news broke of the two new confirmed cases within the program, calling out the powers that be. He questioned why a football season is even in the works as the country hits a new record of confirmed cases daily.
You could only imagine, if Eifler was pulled from media availability and pushed into a discussion with Illinois’ AD, Reid will be nudged into that direction as well because the “keep it inside” culture is how sports operates.
However, the programs’ responses are hardly surprising. Even in the new wave of athletic empowerment with Black athletes like Makur Maker, embracing a new trend committing to an HBCU, the push back of having an opinion and speaking out in matters that affect your well being is not what college sports wants — or sports in general for that matter.
When Eifler was later cleared to speak to the media he explained his irritation with everything.
“Yeah, we want to come back and want to play,” Eifler said, “but we just want to make sure our health and our safety is the priority. … It’s hard when you’re taking this process day by day. We got through today, but are we going to get through tomorrow? Sure, I want to go back to workouts, but am I going to be good Friday?”
He made some valid points, given the nature of the virus and the lengthy incubation period. His anxiety about when and how he could catch the virus and its day to day impact are reasonable. The NCAA’s test protocol, after speaking with a handful of doctors does fall slightly short of what will be necessary to make sure a major outbreak doesn’t occur.
In the case of Michigan State the reason the entire team is quarantining is because the tests were taken a few days ago. So the player and staff member that interacted with folks over that time period has exposed all of those individuals to the virus.
There should be a process, that until results are received every person quarantines. I’m not sure how feasible that is but if you’re serious about having a season you have to implement a process that limits the amount of contact folks have with others.
Another wild thing that has happened, Clemson has had 30-plus players test positive, West Virginia announced this week 28 folks in their program tested positive.
Why is football season happening? And why are players being muzzled for pointing this stuff out?
For this to work and be effective there has to be a better plan in place. Faster testing, more monitoring, and a plan for when a player and or program member is positive or exposed.