College Coaches’ Impossible Task This Fall & Winter
Paul Chryst has one of the biggest challenges of his career. Chryst needs to keep his players safe from COVID-19. Wisconsin had two cases out of the 117 people that were tested. It is unlikely that Wisconsin will only have two tests all Fall with their college program. The same goes for other Wisconsin and Marquette programs across the country. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal warned of a season cancellation if Badgers did not take the needed steps. While that is a bit of panic porn from Jeff, there is some truth in his article. He missed the greater point how do coaches govern their players to not be college kids for at least one semester if not two?
Remember back when you were in college. Every weekend, there was an opportunity for a party. Whether you were 21 or not, the opportunity was there at most schools. Even the dry ones that acted like alcohol isn’t a thing. As you know, college kids like to drink, and going out is a major factor in college life even for athletes. Chryst and other coaches will need to implore their players to stay away from those types of things. But he has no way of stopping them. With the NCAA not providing players’ money, there is no incentive to staying away from the bars besides being a good teammate. How many will follow through? Probably a very small few.
There is the other part of this uncomfortable task for any coach about hooking up with random people. Apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble should be deleted off their phones. But again, they’re college kids. They have sex drives of your favorite pornstar. Sure, some are in relationships, but even that could be a problem. What if the player stays in or just parties with his team, but his or her significant other goes out partying regularly? They could bring the virus right to them. It’s not hard to see this happening.
Some might wonder why even have a season then? Well, COVID-19 is not typically a big issue for younger people especially those at 18-23. Yes, there are some cases with lung issues, but those are few and far between. That’s an immediate retort for those who want to bubble until the vaccine is wildly available. It is an overreaction to put everything on hold. What they can do to slow the spread is test every Monday and Tuesday. That should be given. And stay in small groups.
Badgers, Golden Eagles, and other teams are going to learn how to adjust to this virus. Some will figure it out, others will have a tough time. Let’s hope the former for Wisconsin college teams.