College Athletics Needs to be Pushed Back

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Levi’s Stadium, the site of the Pac12 Championship Football game in Santa Clara, CA on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (Photo by: Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle).

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer

 

Every weekend, football games all over the country have been getting canceled one after another as players and staff members test positive for COVID-19. Some conferences were able to prepare for the inevitable cancellations by making sure there were bye weekends and spaces for teams to make up any games that were canceled. Some conferences have not been able to do that, which has resulted in some teams having more playing time on the field while other teams have not.

For example, in the Pac-12, Utah had two games canceled before stepping out on the field. This put them at a disadvantage compared to other teams in the conference. Since football teams have been able to play games, are these cancellations a good sign for basketball, since they are beginning their season too? Or are these cancellations worrisome for the collegiate sports that look to start their season in the coming months?  

It is promising to watch football games being played. This provides a sense of normalcy in the world as football fans get to cheer on their team and players get to compete. This also provides a sense of comfort for other student-athletes who are hoping to compete in the coming months. If football can play where close contact is allowed, any other sport should be able to compete. However, as COVID-19 cases rise in the US and cities are starting to implement more restrictions, should conferences look at the starting season later by a few months?

If conferences were to start other sports later, this could help prevent the cancellations of games or matches where teams would be able to compete rather than be in limbo. If seasons were pushed back by an extra month or two, there may be hopes of vaccines being more available to the general public, which would allow athletes to compete with more of a set schedule. Athletes would also be able to gain an idea of what their season would look like. There wouldn’t be as much uncertainty surrounding competitions. There is a big concern among coaches and college regarding students traveling over the break and staying healthy. Pushing seasons back would also provide time for athletes to train and make sure they are healthy and safe to play their respective sport after coming back to campus from the holiday break. 

I know that there is hope among student-athletes who are getting ready to compete within the next two months. This hope is relying on the success of football being able to compete and play games to show that it is possible for college sports to resume play. Pushing things back can guarantee that there will be some sort of a season for all sports with limited competitions being canceled or postponed. 

Being an athlete, this can give more opportunities for student-athletes to compete and play. These opportunities that student-athletes are given happen once in a lifetime to be apart of this community and team. It is important to give athletes the best chance to play to give them the chance to build the program they are playing for and the chance to make memories with their teammates by persevering through the uncertainty of being able to compete. 

 

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@DushEmily