By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
The NBA, MLB, LPGA, NASCAR, and WNBA all returned after an absence due to the COVID-19. They gave us what we were craving for –“Live sports”. Now college football set it’s stage.
The entire IVY League was opting out of fall sports. The Major conferences like the BIG-10 American Athletic Conference, ACC, SEC, PAC-12, and Big-12 all made their adjustments to play. They would schedule contests only with teams within their own Conferences. This would allow each conference to have it’s own protocol for testing and have guidelines on how to handle COVID-19.
There is one thing that came up: Several of the players in the Power 6 schools have concerns. The PAC-12 had players concerned with not only their health, but also their future. The PAC-12 Unity movement have put forward three things to be considered. They have proposed insurance for players up to six years after the leave college.
1) Players who express solidarity through the movement. 2) Players who opt out of the 2020 season because they have underlying conditions. 3) There are players who are willing to opt out if their demands are not met. It is a rough estimate that there are 400 players involved in this movement.
“We plan on having our athletes start practice on August 15th,” PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott told Ashley Adamson of the PAC-12 Network. “We’ve had input from Coaches, Athletic Directors, Administrators, and Medical personnel. All this is subject to approval from public health authorities.”
The SEC had a conference call that included Medical Advisory Board members, Student Athletic Leadership Council and other officials to discuss the upcoming fall sports season. Parts of the conversation were obtained by the Washington Post and it was revealed the unknown Conference official stated; “There are going to be some out-breaks, we’re going to have cases on every single team, that’s a given. And we can’t prevent it.”
The Student Athletic Leadership Council is made up of one player from each school in the 14-team league. Momo Sanogo is chair of the council was concerned about Health conditions of COVID-19 and what could be done from keeping athletes from being exposed.
According to the WAPO one response during the call was he suggested Sanogo remind people around him to “behave responsibly”. All the 21 year-old Sanoga was looking was answers about safety for his teammates and other players.
The unidentified official also responded. “As unsafe as it sounds the best thing you can do is try to encourage others to act more responsibly and not put yourself in those kinds of situation.”
The BIG-10 has also chosen to just play a 10 game league only schedule. They also find it easier to set up procedures and guidelines for players and coaches. “It’s much easier to work with Big Ten institutions from a scheduling stand-point and traveling standpoint,” said Commissioner Kevin Warren. “When you start working outside the conference there are enough issues we are working with already, then add on the top of it is the logistics of travel and all the logistics associated with it.”
Before all that can happen for holding practices and the testing logistics. Warren added “This is where the work begins to make sure we get testing protocols finalized and to make sure we get all medical and operational procedures finalized.