However, three public health experts in the state of Georgia aren’t optimistic for a variety of reasons, including the continued spread of the coronavirus and potential fissures within the testing system designed to ensure that only players free of COVID-19 can take the field.
“The athletes can do everything right; the coaches can do everything right, but when the community spread around them is so high, that bubble just isn’t going to stand up,” said Travis Glenn, a professor of environmental health science at the University of Georgia. “It just isn’t. So that’s the problem.”
The rate of community transmission is an initial concern.
“I think I was much more hopeful earlier in the year (for college football), that we would have a little bit more manageable control,” said Christina Proctor, a clinical assistant professor and colleague of Glenn’s in the College of Public Health at UGA. “And now that things have gotten worse, I’m very worried that it’s not going to happen. And I’m an avid fan.”
… Glenn acknowledged that athletic departments and coaches can limit their athletes’ exposure to a great deal, for example by encouraging them to enroll only in online courses and mandating mask usage.
However, “these are 18- to 22-year olds that are going to see other people,” he said. “They just are. And so that’s what’s going to make it really, really hard.”
Once classes begin, the football program can no longer isolate players in a block of rooms at the Georgia Center Hotel. Some alternate lodging plans might be made for players, but we don’t yet know those and it won’t be around-the-clock supervision and prep as it normally is during preseason camp.
… Should the Bulldogs have to wait until after classes begin to start practice, then you’re probably looking at a schedule just as tight as it normally is to make up for some lost time. Still, there’ll have to be pauses for COVID-19 testing because, at that point, players will have presumably been in contact with other students.
This is so, so stupid. But it’s what to expect when following the advice of public health experts takes a back seat to protecting the economic status quo by insisting that the same kids you need to earn your millions from ESPN have to be treated like every other student on campus.
I hope none of them get sick, but if they do, the rationalizations we’ll hear from McGarity and Morehead are going to make me want to throw things through a wall. It would almost (almost because that would suck for those of us who just want to watch them play) serve them right if it wound up costing them the revenues from a football season they so badly crave.
11 responses to “Why we (probably) can’t have nice things.”
We had a chance to knock this down in the spring. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t. Now we have to live with it or shut it down again (which won’t happen or work because: see March to June).
There is a 100% chance that some SEC football players test positive for covid this fall whether football happens or not. The same can be said for any large group of people anywhere in the US. It’s just life now. The debate isn’t about whether players test positive. It’s about who’s fault it is when players test positive.
Seriously, at this point, let whoever wants to sit…sit. Let them keep their scholarship, pause live school and move home to their parents’ house and isolate.
For the ones that don’t want to do remote school, want to stay in Athens, etc., they probably realize that adding football to the equation doesn’t appreciably increase their odds of getting coronvirus when they’re already doing all that Athens has to offer.
Let me tell you what we’re going to do: yes, we have in-person courses starting in a few weeks. Most of which are hybrids of in-person and remote delivery. Most faculty aren’t interested in the politics of in-person classes and we will leverage that for football players. Most of them are already in athlete-friendly programs, so when they ask if they can skip the in-person parts of the class in favor of remote participation because they aren’t comfortable being in a classroom with 10-30 other people, then their instructors (who are also disinterested in being a room with 10-30 other people) are going to be open to the idea. Bingo: players isolated from general student population – at least for their courses this fall. Then the worry is keeping them round up w/r/t extra-curriculars… I have no idea how they’ll do that – but I also have no idea how those guys have any time to cut loose for parties. In my experience, they’re mostly tired and beat down all the time.
Kirby finna deploy google nests and ringdoors all over everybody’s apartments and dorm rooms.
“WHERRRRE ARRRRRE YOU GOING GEORGE !?”
Some poor girl is going to show up at a football player’s house and an assistant coach is going to shame her through the Ring Doorbell.
The article is spot on! My daughter plays soccer for a BIG10 school and they’ve done the testing, isolation, only hanging with other athletes, etc. However, the girls with non-athlete boyfriends are hanging with them, some girls sneak out (god forbid) to off campus parties, they go grocery shopping, etc. and several of the negative athletes have now tested positive along with their team/roommates. The question is if they can start the season, will they make it thru the full season due to players not being available to play and political pressure. Either way, this season will have a big asterisk next to it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Some of them got sick before they got to campus so why should it be any different after?
There have been athletes at every SEC institution who were basically taking the lion’s share of their classes online. Joe Burrow (sorry, “Burreaux”) for example famously only really stepped on the LSU campus to go to practice or games. Same for Justin Fields at Ohio State. I’m sure that UGA students who are members of at-risk groups more susceptible to the virus are probably going to be given online options for their classes, so it’s not like giving athletes most of/all of their coursework online would be special treatment. Why aren’t we doing that?
People talk as if in-person classes are the greatest concern. Are these guys supposed to ignore the 75%+/- of students who are female? What are they gonna do for R&R? Their interactions with the outside world (even families and friends) are expected to be extremely limited? Sounds more like prison than college.
Having classes is a fiasco waiting to happen. After 1 month, we’ll have widespread infections, and multiple professors and staffers in ICU. You can take that forecast to the bank.
Yes, I want cfb. That means sequestering the players, and compensating them for the huge sacrifices they are expected to make in order for the schools to keep raking in money.
“Sounds more like prison than college.”
Adding in their lack of payment makes this all the more relevant of a comparison.