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Point-counterpoint: Will any major college football be played this fall? US doesn’t deserve it

Commentary

We wouldn’t even be having this debate if it weren’t for the money.

The smartest guys in the room — those running the Ivy League — already made the right decision: no college sports at all the rest of this year.

It’s just not safe, not when 140,000 people have died from a virus that’s still surging in most of the country and seems impossible to stop because our society is selfish and stubborn.

Those Ivy folks don’t really have to worry about all the money stuff because they are in business to educate students.

Hmm, what a novel idea for colleges.

The major conferences, though, run professional sports leagues. They have billions of dollars at stake, and because they sold their souls long ago in the chase for almighty dollars, power conferences are now facing a terrible decision brought about by their own greed.

Money or safety.

This aspect should not be up for debate: By playing a national college football schedule, it absolutely would put many, many people — including athletes, coaches, support personnel, family members and fans — at much greater risk of contracting the coronavirus.

And for what?

So these college football behemoths can make their millions of dollars, and thereby continue to fund their bloated athletic departments.

No.

It shouldn’t happen.

And I believe it won’t.

There will not and should not be a national college football season this fall.

Maybe some programs will play some games, in states where the virus isn’t as formidable. Penn State fans might be able to count themselves as fortunate to be in that group.

But there’s just no way programs across all of Division I should be allowed to travel and play all around the country during this national crisis.

Florida and California, for instance, each are home to seven FBS football programs, and those states are having all kinds of trouble with the virus. As is Texas, which has 12 FBS programs. Those three states alone account for 26 FBS programs, and how can people there justify the potential public health risks of playing college sports?

The logistical problems of trying to have a season will be massive because of all the regional health issues and restrictions, and merely canceling the non-conference games — as the Big Ten and other leagues have done — just isn’t going to be enough.

Why should these college football athletes be forced to make such a huge sacrifice to play the season anyway? They’ll all have to live in such a bizarre bubble to keep them and everyone else safe, taking them away from any semblance of a normal life.

It’s one thing for MLB, NFL or NBA players to have to live life in that kind of bubble in order to play. They’re getting paid millions of dollars.

College athletes don’t get paid, and they shouldn’t be forced to make all those personal sacrifices just to keep the money machine of college football running. That’s not their responsibility during a global pandemic.

The bottom line is, our country doesn’t deserve to have a college football season.

We have botched this virus response to epic proportions, to the degree that we’re not worrying about if a second wave will hit because we’re still smack dab in the middle of the first wave after five grueling months.

Having college football is a privilege, not a right. This country hasn’t gotten its act together during all this mess, and being forced to miss out on some things we love is one of the repercussions.

Cory Giger can be reached at cgiger@altoonamirror.com.

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