COVID-19 Laying Harsh Hit on College Football

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Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields prepares to launch a pass in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl.

Sean Levonaitis, News Editor

With the addition of the COVID-19 into the world, many problems have occurred when it involves large gatherings.  Schools are only allowing half their students go in, restaurants are only serving a certain amount of customers indoors, and teams are being restricted to an extent when it comes to playing with the opposing teams. 

UConn was the first FBS team to call curtains on a fall 2020 season on August 5th. UMass followed on that decision on that following Tuesday.

On August 11, following a morning meeting of the conference’s presidents, the Big Ten decided on Tuesday to cancel the college football season for fall 2020 with hopes of playing in spring 2021. With this decision, the Big Ten has become the first Power Five conference to decide not to play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.

At least 15 Big Ten players have been left with myocarditis after contracting COVID-19, according to a high-ranking source within the Big Ten. More than 30 Power Five players have opted out of playing this season. There are now 89 of 130 FBS teams set to play the 2020 college football season at this time.

However, astonishing news has been announced that Big Ten football and many other football programs have returned to play this fall season which was announced in September 19. They will follow a revised schedule, only playing some games, and having restrictions on fans and other aspects of the games. Fall football is back on. 

So many players, fans and citizens are rejoyceful about this news. Connor Leoni, former Hillsborough High School graduate, works for the South Carolina football team as a student manager and has been following college football for as long as he can remember.

“Hearing the news about college football being back on really changed my whole atmosphere while attending South Carolina,” said Leoni. “Without those Saturday games, I felt like my whole college experience was destined to go down the train and it was sad to see all the players and fellow coaches be distraught at the fact of there almost being no college football this year. I am just thankful we can all enjoy and share a common event that gives us hope and fun in times like these.”