In the latest falling domino, the NCAA this afternoon announced it would not be having fall championships in any sport … that’s not football. The NCAA has decided that soccer, cross country, women’s field hockey and volleyball are not safe for kids to participate in due to the pandemic. They have some hope to move them to the spring as well, but no firm plans have been announced as of yet. This news comes from the NCAA’s president Mark Emmert in a video you can see below.
You might notice a name missing from the list of sports there. It’s the fall sport that generates billions for universities and the NCAA. Somehow that one is still going in some parts of the country. Because the funny thing is, college football is actually too big for the NCAA to do anything about.
In this nonsensical world where players aren’t paid anything to generate ungodly amounts of money for coaches who drive them into the ground and then decry any suggestion that players should be paid as well from their Porsches, and for universities that don’t really bother to educate them and an organization that doesn’t actually control them, the NCAA isn’t in charge of the College Football Playoff, which is an agreement between the conferences. So are all the bowl games. So there’s not much the NCAA can actually do to rightly stop football from happening.
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But still, college football players must be looking around at their fellow athletes on campus, who were just told it’s not safe for them to play their sport, and ask some serious questions about why it’s safe for them to play theirs.
The NCAA has also made it clear it’s not safe to play football, because it’s cancelled the FCS, and Division II and III. So why would the top tier be safe and these others wouldn’t?
Of course, the answer is that it’s not. The St. Louis Cardinals are proving that you can’t play any sport outside of a bubble format, and it’s not like hockey and basketball have triumphed yet either. You can’t move whole conferences into a bubble, because don’t you know these kids are students and have to take classes...that are also not safe. Except they can’t take any classes that clash with football. Or take up too much time from studying the playbook.
The answer is that they’re worth too much to everyone but themselves. The conferences and programs don’t want to go without the TV cash, be it CBS and the SEC or ESPN with the Big 12 or whatever else. This move today absolutely makes it clear that it is not safe to play sports, but that doesn’t matter if that sport is a cash cow.
NCAA basketball players, you’ve been warned.