Play or Don't Play, The Great Debate
(EDITOR NOTE: Today's article expresses opinions from the columnist -- Jared Anderson -- and may not represent the viewpoints of other writers or management here at Cardinal Couple. It is not an official UofL Athletics stance and the opinions expressed here are his own. Nevertheless, some powerful thoughts and words are expressed here and they are well worth your time to read and digest)
The debate continues: Play or Don't Play Fall Sports? The Big Ten made a big decision yesterday by cancelling their fall football season. They have not made a decision on their other fall sports, but with football going away it's safe to assume all fall sports will head that direction for the Big Ten.
What the rest of the Power Five conferences decide to do will most likely dictate how all schools across the NCAA handle things. The NCAA has failed to do what it's designed to do- lead and govern.
There has been talk the PAC-12 is also on pace to cancel football and other fall sports while the ACC has been insistent that fall sports will go on with the new schedules.
Hundreds of NCAA student-athletes, mostly football players, have taken to twitter with the hashtag "#LetUsPlay" as the voice their opinion on the season. Most student-athletes from other sports have gone dead quiet.
So I stepped up and gave them a voice when theirs were silenced.
Football and men's basketball control college athletics. Nothing goes through without it being in favor of them. It often leads to the other sports being overshadowed and being silenced.
I posted a lengthy column on Facebook regarding my personal opinion that I shared on twitter and Instagram. I had quite a few UofL athletes or family members of athletes from the four fall sports that aren't football reach out to me to thank me for sharing it and helping give them a voice.
I won't post the entire thing here, but will summarize what it was.
Fall sports athletes are getting cheated on a true season. Field hockey, women's soccer, and men's soccer are getting a six-game season while volleyball gets 10. Last season, at UofL, they played 22 games, 20 games, 20 games, and 32 games respectively. That isn't fair to have to waste a year of eligibility on, especially if you're a senior. Don't forget that spring sports played way more games than that and still were able to retain a year of eligibility.
Student-athletes are forced into a "bubble" on campus -- in social aspects -- in hopes to have a season. We already saw what happens when they break outside of that "bubble" (29 COVID Positive cases from a party). The student-athletes can't spend time with friends or family members, sacrificing time they could spend with them. Just because they follow this "bubble" doesn't mean a season is guaranteed.
Many student-athletes have been afraid to voice their opinions because it is different than that of the football player student-athletes. It also goes against what fans want, and frankly, fans can be rather hostile towards their own players and teams at times. The student-athletes will be pressured into playing a season whether they feel comfortable doing so or not.
Somebody, somewhere is going to get sick in the mix of players, coaches, trainers, staff, and everyone else involved. And once someone tied to a program catches COVID-19 it can spread like wildflowers before it can be detected. Witness what is going on with the St. Louis Cardinals these days.
I want sports just as much as anyone else. I miss sports and I miss being there taking pictures. But I'm not about to risk other people's health and safety for something that I want. We will get sports back... just not yet.
We don't have enough procedures and protection in place right now for everyone involved in the sports realm to have a season.
In my personal opinion I don't think we should have a fall sports season. That may disagree with other writers and readers on the site but that's why it's my personal opinion.
What's your thoughts: should there be a fall sports season? Please keep comments civil if you disagree with someone else's thoughts.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!