As COVID has surged to record heights over the past weeks, the prospects for a normal college football season diminished. On Sunday, the presidents of the Big 10 conference threw in the towel, voting to suspend college football in the fall before it could even begin. According to multiple sources, the vote was nearly unanimous, with 12 against starting the season and only 2 colleges voting to keep the season open, Nebraska and Iowa. Michigan and Michigan State, which has physicians as presidents of the university, were among the Big 10 schools to vote to keep college football off the table for the 2020-2021 season. There is potential for a spring football season, should the pandemic conditions allow it.
Unless you’re the NBA and are willing to shell out the $150 million it takes to hermetically seal a campus and sports complex for players, coaches, and press, running a sports season in a pandemic has proven to be a near-impossible bid. Even the MLB, an organization that generates some $9.9 billion a year, has become something of a cautionary tale, with rampant infections and rumors of shutting down the already short season. What chance do college sports have?
The Big 10 news comes shortly after the Mid-American Conference announced that they also would cancel their fall football season, marking the first time a season of the MAC had been canceled since 1946, and the news that University of Connecticut won’t play in the fall, either. That includes the teams from Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, and Western Michigan, who were already set to lose millions of dollars in away-game payouts for canceled games due to COVID-19. Apparently, the Big Ten is trying to wait to announce their plans to cancel the season with the other Power Five conferences.
One thing is clear: Cancelling the college football season overall is probably the best move for the health of players, employees, fans, and the general public. Even those with the biggest stake in this are acknowledging it. This makes it no less of a bummer. Let’s face it, marble racing is starting to lose its luster.