College Football Is Choosing To Protect Amateurism Over Anything Else
Big Ten football will likely not be a thing by Monday at 9:00 AM. If you’re reading this and the Big Ten is already canceled, it is a fucking shame. Those who always caveat with ‘Well if they play’ are right. The fact is that it didn’t have to be this way. And yet, college football is sticking their feet in the mud and refusing to think outside the box. We, as a nation, have failed to do that. Innovative ideas are shut down or deemed crazy since they’re not in lock-step with what the Internet wants us to. The failure to get college football going is highlighted by two things, to keep up with the facade that these are amateurs and the lack of leadership from the NCAA.
Did you know that 13 of the 14 Big Ten schools will start having classes on campus this year? Are they different than years past? Yes. But school is happening at this school the way it is supposed to. Football is not. Even with kids going back to school, many players could look to this an inflection point for when sports became about money versus being just about football. We know it’s been that way for a long, long time, and most people agree players should be compensated in some way. But this would be definitive proof that everyone needs to showcase these athletes are more than just student-athletes. Amateurism likely dies if there is a college football season. Big Ten cannot lose that golden goose.
Right now, the idea of paying players through endorsements is a bill in Congress. It hasn’t passed nor has it failed. Bills take awhile. Some believe this could be a precedent to that rule going into effect. College programs do not want that even if it might benefit the school. This old school approach to not face facts and admit what is about to happen to your spot in the next 10 years is fucking stupid. Big Ten is trying to save the conference and college football from facing immediate facts. ANd it could too late. Trevor Lawerence, the biggest name in college football, created a union that could ultimately change the course of college athletes. Big Ten might be too late.
The other problem is there is no leadership. If college football had a commissioner, this would not be happening. A unified plan with testing, travel, social distancing rules would go a long way. We saw what it did for the NBA and NHL. Baseball added it after a hellish two weeks. NFL is already ahead of schedule for it. Instead, everyone is on their own. Big Ten has one idea. SEC has another. Big 12 is completely different. They all need to get in a room and make a decision. And without an actual leader that’s hard to achieve.
The ramifications for spring football are not much safer than what’s going on in September. Flu/COVID season will chug along in many states. Many states will also deal with cold temperatures until April. Playing two seasons – One in Spring and one in Fall seems like it goes directly against player safety when we talk about things that aren’t COVID-related. Spring football doesn’t make a ton of sense and could mean