On Wednesday, August 5th, the University of Connecticut announced plans to cancel their upcoming football season due to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging this country. They are the first major college to do so.
“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season”UConn Athletic Director David Benedict
“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,”Football Coach Randy Edsall
But it’s surprising that UConn is the first major college to take this step. Football is a huge part of college culture. Letting the players train together is already a health risk. But having games, where over a hundred thousand people can sit in the stands, is an even bigger health risk. So why has UConn been the only college to make this announcement so far? It’s already August. The academic year is creeping up on us, just a few weeks away.
It’s time for other colleges to follow in UConn’s steps.
While cancelling athletics is painful, especially to senior athletes, it is what needs to be done to prevent further this pandemic that has destroyed our country.
“As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020. We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”Statement issued by the UConn Football Team
While the players may be upset, they understand what needs to be done in order to overcome the pandemic. There is no doubt other colleges’ players will feel the same way.
While college football is beloved by many, it’s time to take a step back and realize that no event is more important than life.