“We’re waiting to hear the green light and go.”

To return to something I touched on in yesterday’s post about Notre Dame’s Father Jenkins, this strikes me as the gist of college football’s pandemic dilemma:

“Universities are operating in a realm of bad choices,” said Aron Cramer, the president of Business for Social Responsibility, a nonprofit that encourages businesses to implement ethical frameworks that serve the greater good. Cramer added that the decision about whether to play “ultimately places into sharp relief questions of what a university is all about to begin with.”

At the heart of those questions are ethical considerations: How do universities assess risk for their players, what dollar value do they place on it and what voice should athletes have in the decisions?

As of now, we don’t know the answer to the first two parts of that question and if athletes have been given a voice in the decisions, if only to the level of being consulted about the risks involved and being asked to respond, I’ve yet to hear a college administrator say so.

“In the N.C.A.A. and with other amateurs, players don’t have a strong voice and have a union. Their voice is always suppressed,” said McDonald, who added that only a select few players might have the platform to influence safety measures. “I’m not Joe Burrow; I’m just a tight end at Florida State…”

Which isn’t to say he wants to stay away from his teammates.

Yet McDonald is eager to work out with his teammates even though he watched one of them, offensive lineman Andrew Boselli, recover from the virus from afar. “If it came down to health or football, everybody would choose health 100 percent of the time,” McDonald said. “I want it to be as safe as possible, but losing a football season would be a worst-case scenario.”

A similar attitude can be heard from Mississippi State’s new starting quarterback.

“If the locker room is together we’re really not going to bat an eye; that’s the bond you have with your teammates — people are going to joke around. That’s the locker room culture,” Costello said. “Now, if a guy or two gets sick, it’s going to be a different story. If somebody gets coronavirus in the locker room and some other guy has symptoms, is everybody freaking out? It will be a joke until two, three, four guys get it, and then it’s out of control.”

Still, Costello said his biggest concern was simply not passing the virus on to his 90-year-old grandmother. There will have to be a substantial outbreak — such as what occurred in places in March, he said — for college football to be shut down.

“It’s a commitment to a lifestyle, a certain work ethic. Most football players have less fear about this than anybody else,” Costello said when asked if he feels like a guinea pig. “We’ll put our trust in the institution — we know their reputation is on the line, so we’ll trust that it’s enough to keep students out of harm’s way.”

And in the end, there you have it.  The question is, are these institutions worthy of that trust?  Color me uncertain about that.

39 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

39 responses to ““We’re waiting to hear the green light and go.”

  1. Bright Idea

    The players can express themselves by not showing up if they so choose. Freedom to chose seems to have been forgotten in this entire lockdown. Of course the bad ass universities might revoke their scholarship.

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    • That’s some freedom you got there, man.

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      • Skeptic Dawg

        Yes, the consequences seem to be rather high, but the kids still have the freedom of choice in this matter as Bright stated. Every decision we make has consequences, yet we measure the risk/reward proposition of our choices daily. What I don’t understand is why you continue to beat this dead horse. You have stated from the very beginning that college football would be played, yet you lampoon the universities, NCAA, AD’s and coaches daily for the decision you knew they would make. If you hate all that is college football so deeply, why do you continue to sink time, effort and money into the game?

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        • Yes, the consequences seem to be rather high, but the kids still have the freedom of choice in this matter as Bright stated. Every decision we make has consequences, yet we measure the risk/reward proposition of our choices daily.

          Is it too much to ask that these players not make that measurement out of ignorance, or is “tough shit, kid” the best you’ve got to offer?

          You have stated from the very beginning that college football would be played, yet you lampoon the universities, NCAA, AD’s and coaches daily for the decision you knew they would make. If you hate all that is college football so deeply, why do you continue to sink time, effort and money into the game?

          First off, if you think this post is a lampoon, I’ve done a bad job of explaining myself. Second, what is it with you “my football, love it or leave it” types? Is critiquing something you love an effort beyond your intellectual grasp?

          It’s especially funny coming from you, Skeptic. You’ve made a shtick here out of your cynicism about Georgia football. Yet you still read the blog and follow the program. Why do you continue to sink time, effort and money into the program?

          Liked by 1 person

      • Derek

        Freedom is about consequences. Consequences for them, but never for me.

        Its a philosophical product of the historical period known as “The Entitlement.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Cojones

          I may not agree with anything that you may say, but I will defend to your death your right to say it. FIFY.

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      • TimberRidgeDawg

        Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

        I do love that song so much.

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      • Faulkner

        Question-
        Have we had any D1 player say to the school I’m not comfortable playing? Has a school threatened to revoke scholarship? I would think a school would be nuts to take that approach. Do we know of any players testing those waters? When we have those answers we will know how much freedom they truly have.

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  2. Normaltown Mike

    Just wait til these guys hear that playing football has been shown to cause irreparable damage to the body, specifically the brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Go Dawgs!

    Well, the institutions are going to have football and basketball, so in that sense, no, we can’t trust them to do the 100 percent safest thing by not having athletes in close contact on campus. However, I do have trust and faith that these institutions are going to bring the athletes back and bring sports back in the absolute safest way possible for one reason – money. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that these schools are opening themselves up to a lot of liability if their student athletes get sick and suffer any permanent damage because of it and it can be shown that lax safety practices let it happen.

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  4. Huntindawg

    There is a risk/reward ratio to almost anything. Is the risk to the players from Covid greater than regular flu? Is it greater than just playing football?

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    • Fair questions, but I haven’t heard any answers from the schools about that. Have you?

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      • Dawg1

        As of 7PM May 26th, Athens/CC has had 13 deaths. They aged from 60-98 with 11 of the 13 being in one long-term are facility.

        Liberty U has had ~2000 students back on campus since March with no positive cases. (They did have a football player test positive who had not returned to campus since spring break.)

        Of the 1827 deaths in Georgia as of Sunday, only one was younger than 22.

        The virus IS real, and IS dangerous. But it sure seems to not affect the under 40 crowd much if the right precautions are taken. So, that is good, at least!

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        • Napoleon BonerFart

          How is that going to sell papers?

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        • Cojones

          Last paragraph: That depends upon which area is affected by the virus. Some states have death toll figures that show younger groups affected more than Georgia’s bar graphs show.

          Big question: How many Corvid-19 tests have been made at that Liberty U campus? I challenge the hell out of that figure of 2k students not having a case. The rate of infection is lower for younger people, but it’s not nonexistent as those figures imply. Methinks that games are being played by Jerry Falwell Jr.

          New info: A cruise ship that had an outbreak after passengers were tested before being allowed on board ended up with 80% of their positives as asymptomatic. Published in Thorax after peer review. Previously, a study of over 1k cases (performed by Johns Hopkins if I remember correctly) averaged over 30% asymptomatic.

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          • Dawg1

            I won’t disagree that Falwell has many issues with credibility, but if you can find a state that has had any serious issues with deaths aged 30 and under, that is a true outlier.

            Pennsylvania, for instance, has had more deaths OVER age 100 than under age 50 combined.

            And again, of 4485 deaths, they have had ZERO under age 30.

            Abroad, Italy, has had a higher death rate over 90 than under age 70 — combined.

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            • Macallanlover

              True, nutcases just look for aberrations to make them feel better about their agendas. Truth and rational thinking escapes these closed minded bigots. Of course there could be a positive case or so, it doesn’t change the bigger point. Bigger points, big picture, greater good….just not for the little minds. Little people dragging a wonderful country down. World will miss a healthy, benevolent USA when it cannot stand on its own two feet.

              Who cares about Falwell? Just one misguided voice among many all over the nation. While there isn’t a reliable voice to be heard, I doubt his intention is to mislead, we simply don’t know enough to be confident at this point. But responsibly moving about our lives seems a better option than cowering in a corner and sucking our thumbs. Nothing yet disputes this but it sure seems to tear some apart. My bet is still no CFB though, say 60/40.

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  5. People do what people do…under the current situation, do you give a thought about your fellow man, do you wear protect coverings to lessen exposure, do you indulge in data gathered in the past months and base your moving forward on that, do you say “i’ll take my chances”, do you stay secluded, do you move towards a vaccine based thought process…don’t have the faintest idea what 17/18/19 year olds (as a whole) react to…but when you base your choice on some one else’s goals, you could be fucked…life can be short, take your time

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  6. Based on what I know after being around the UGA program and it’s facilities for a few years? The kids will receive much better care under the eye of trainers and coaches than they will at home. Geez we’ve kicked it around here for years that they aren’t treated the same as actual students. The nutrition, exercise, discipline, supplements, rest, medical care,and absolutely sanitation is lights out compared to what they’re getting at home. The facilities are already sanitized like crazy because of staph, MERV, and athletes being in close proximity with each other.
    Is it 100% safe ? No. But it’s not really a death sentence either. Where I am concerned about sports coming back is at the high school level where the oversight of athletes is no where near the level of a university program.

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    • Cojones

      Not taking issue with your statement, but what I have advocated for being cautious is based upon asymptomatics exposing others in their families and those older people who are coaching these kids and can take it home to their family and community.

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      • Cojones

        We continue to need tests, tests, tests!

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      • Here’s what I think FWIW (aka nothing) and I respect your opinion and background with this issue. Here in my district When you show up to your starting facility you take your temperature. If it is 99.7 or higher you go home for 24 hours and you cannot return to work until your temperature is below the benchmark. We do not have the ability to COVID test everyone every day. If a persons temperature is normal we assume they are not infected, but all it actually tells us is that someone is not symptomatic.
        I read somewhere (probably in a linked article here) that coaching staff would only test players who were symptomatic, so I’m guessing they’ll do the same thing we do, check the forehead temp as they enter the building. If it’s normal they can play, if it’s not they go back to their abode and get tested. Thing is, what’s stopping a player of coach from taking a dose of Tylenol an hour before checking in or doing the alcohol wipe trick? Asymptomatic does not mean not infected. It will definitely spread among the group and I doubt based on the lethality that there will be any serious threat to the players. Since Coaches are noted sticklers for transparency I’m sure any player that tests positive will be quarantined as required. But I’m pretty sure there may be a little grey in the “Who gets tested” column.

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  7. Castleberry

    I am guessing the games happen – and if a kid gets sick and has lasting damage – it’s a Devon Gales situation. The schools will put the games on and pass around the hat if someone takes lasting damage. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, just guessing that will be how it goes.

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    • Bigger question is what happens if it spreads.

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      • It will spread. How many will become symptomatic?

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        • Good question. Nobody knows until it happens.

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          • Cojones

            That’s the big question, Senator. Data has shown that over 30% of those testing positive have been asymptomatic. I posted earlier of the study just published of one cruise ship’s positives demonstrated over 80% asymptomatic. Perhaps Covid-19 variants exist that can cause carriers among us more so than those patients who are showing symptoms. Maybe not.

            What we don’t know can hurt the hell out of us and we keep finding new things about this virus every day.

            Here’s to crossing our fingers and praying for all the mother’s sons we speak easily of in a pandemic because we want to experience our yearly fix of cfb and other college sports.

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      • mp

        At Arkansas, Missouri, and others you may never know.

        My question is what coaches do you trust with doing the right thing after learning of a positive test to a starter the morning of a game? They have hidden injuries for decades, putting their interests above the players.

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  8. ASEF

    College football already has an historical body count. Summer workout deaths were never common, but I remember growing up you could count on a few of those stories every summer.

    Maryland killed a kid less than 2 years ago. Notre Dame sent a kid up in a hydraulic lift to film practice in a high wind warning. Tipped over, dead. Move on.

    We want football, and we don’t care who gets hurt or how as long as it the games kick off. People bitch more about noon kicks than damage to young people: “They knew the risks.”

    We must be entertained.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ATL Dawg

    It’s pretty funny that the vitriolic whining about how all of this is just conspiracies and fake news has gotten a lot worse since it became clear in the last week or two that people may not be able to attend their football stories in person.

    #muhfootball

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  10. BuffaloSpringfield

    For What it’s Worth:
    This to share draw ire. I don’t mean to mix the two together but there is religion and there is football. Here in the SOUTH it’s somewhat claimed as one.
    Just read in local rag where one domination of church issued a 16 page documentary on the progression back to regular Sunday service.
    Families must sit together while still 6’ apart.
    Temperatures will be taken at the entrance.
    Face masks must be wore at all times
    There will be no singing during services because it’s deemed that singing can project your spray 3x further than at normal voice levels.
    Services may begin on the 4th. of July
    According to the powers that be this is a observation from churches leadership that we are doing our best to avoid any law suits. The church insurance company stated that their coverage would not pay for any claims against the church that were brought about by contacting COVID-19 ( any virus that might cause undo stress, illness or death. )
    So there is that.
    To fund the shutdown of the NCCA basketball tournament the NCCA policy was almost dire in comprehensive liability and vastly underinsured.
    Wonders about Butts-Mehre building and insurance coverage for Sanford Stadium? I do assume that say lighting strikes, drunks falling from the upper deck or say a round of fisticuffs between Dawgs and fans would be covered but against COVID-19 you will be on your on healthcare plan.

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  11. Malcolm X

    “We’ll put our trust in the institution — we know their reputation is on the line, so we’ll trust that it’s enough to keep students out of harm’s way.”
    Well, another naive and stupid kid. Dumb people are always desired so they can be exploited.

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