Column: Why are college football games happening?

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern football team is not playing any games this season, but the same cannot be said for many teams across the country, including three in Eastern’s conference.

Three OVC teams (Austin Peay, Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky) have played in games this season.

Conferences like the Big 12 and SEC more or less began their seasons on time, the Big Ten will begin playing later this month and the Pac-12 will get things started in November.

As games continue to be held every Saturday and with even more games on the way, it is time to once again ask a question that many people have been asking.

Why are these games being played in the middle of a pandemic?

The ethics of holding college football games right now seem sketchy at best, with several games already having to be postponed or canceled as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks on teams.

Notre Dame is now on pace to play its next game against Florida State after it had its game against Wake Forest on Sept. 26 postponed after having to place 13 players in isolation.

The isolation numbers for Notre Dame peaked at 39 but declined to seven as of Monday.

Other games for other schools have also been postponed or canceled, and more will surely be postponed or canceled in the future.

It simply does not make sense to take large groups of football players and pack them onto buses to other schools in other states and have them be in close proximity for another team for several hours, not to mention the other staff and personnel that are affected.

Some college stadiums even allow a reduced number of fans to attend, and masking and social distancing efforts have been subpar in many cases.

Practices are of course being held at schools that are not playing games. But practices are necessary to keep athletes in shape for when to season begins in the spring to help prevent injuries.

But playing games simply does not make sense.

It is understandable that the athletes want to play. They love football and want to be able to participate. Both the athletes and coaches have dedicated their lives to football. They should be able to play once it is reasonably safe to do so.

Unfortunately, that time has not yet come.

I just hope that we will not get the news that someone dies from COVID-19 this season as a result of a college football game, whether it is a player, coach, staff member or fan.

I fear that this will happen, and when it does we need to ask one more important question.

Was it worth it?

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]