Lack Of NCAA Leadership Is Why College Football Is In Disarray
Player were let down by leadership.
Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire
NCAA failed everyone
The Mountain West and MAC are now joined by the Pac-12 and Big Ten to not play football this fall, and all four are looking at some sort of spring season.
This news is obviously due to COVID-19 and how to keep these athletes safe. Practices were slowly integrated with groups through the summer and some shell workouts, but fully-fledged practices never happened.
Everyone wants to look for someone to blame and this one is fairly easy to blame and it is the NCAA that has no control of the FBS level of football, outside of being an enforcement wing.
A lot of schools were doing things the right way with the limited practices but there was no clear message from the top. Today is Aug. 11 and five months to the date that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert shut down American sports.
So, these colleges and the NCAA are five months to the day and couldn’t figure it out. Again, this is not an easy situation to figure because college athletes are very different than well-compensated pro athletes or the parent’s choice of youth sports.
The main concern after listening to the variety of conference commissioners over the past few days and it came down to the unknown of full contact sports of this coronavirus. The schools did not feel comfortable putting their players out there as test subjects and see what happens. Plus, the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unknown.
Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers put it best in a tweet about placing blame on the NCAA, and he is 100% right.
Penn State head coach James Franklin released a statement asking for a “clear path forward.” He wants his players to play but they need a plan in place to make that happen. His league ultimately pulled the plug but there were no options presented to play college football.
The NCAA kept delaying the decision on fall sports and left it up to the individual conferences. The teams were seemingly doing a good job of keeping players safe with testing but the real issue came to actually hitting and playing football because there would be COVID-19 positive test results from that.
Also, once schools came back there would be more and more variables with living college life and more chances at getting the virus. Keeping the athletes bubbled on their own on campus would be very difficult to do with how campuses are set up and where people already were living. Yet, maybe that was feasible to separate the athletes from the students and have them do the classes online and video call into lectures and classes.
Who knows if any of these things could have been done but the big question we don’t really know is if it was even discussed.