Father Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame:
Athletic competition presents another set of challenges. We believe we can, with aggressive testing, hygiene and careful monitoring, keep student-athletes safe. Indeed, keeping healthy relatively small cadres of student-athletes, coaches and support staff members is a less daunting challenge than keeping safe the several thousand other people in the campus community.
Fans in the stadium, however, are a different matter. Fighting Irish fans regularly fill Notre Dame Stadium’s 80,000 seats. I see no way currently to allow spectators unless we restrict admissions so that physical distancing is possible…
We are in our society regularly willing to take on ourselves or impose on others risks — even lethal risks — for the good of society. We send off young men and women to war to defend the security of our nation knowing that many will not return. We applaud medical professionals who risk their health to provide care to the sick and suffering.
How can you equate college football players with soldiers and medical professionals like that? Seriously, because I got nothing.
He goes on to get this part right: “The pivotal question for us individually and as a society is not whether we should take risks, but what risks are acceptable and why.” That is a debate worth having, and not just at his institution.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer anything more than his hope that most people won’t disagree with his choice. I wonder if he’s going to make the effort to find out what those football players being imposed on think about it.