Unpaid athletes risking COVID for the NCAA’s gain more than enough reason to take a break from game action

With college basketball games canceled left and right, it’s time for the NCAA to step in and stop all the action for now.
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As of this afternoon, more than 15 Division I men’s basketball programs have announced a COVID outbreak-related hiatus on all team activities, 10 of which are currently active. Games are canceled left and right: in the last 24 hours alone, the matches between UNC and UCLA, Ohio State and Kentucky, and Duke and Loyola (which was only expected yesterday) have all been scratched. Several women’s programs, including UCLA, Eastern Michigan, and Morgan State, have postponed matches this week and entered COVID protocols. As schools scramble to find replacement opponents and South Carolina gears up to play Clemson tomorrow against six players over COVID, we really have to ask ourselves: Is it time to put a short break on the whole season?

With numbers on the rise and an already messed up schedule, it might be time to call him, at least for a week or two. Basketball doesn’t have the same luxuries as the relative distancing of soccer and outdoor practices and matches, and even with that, the NFL has been rocked by positive tests across the league. With the outbreak within college ball having worsened in recent weeks, it is time for the NCAA to make a nationwide decision on how to move forward with the sport, considering the health of student athletes and the effects it continues and the cancellation. will have on the coming months of college basketball.

Now is the time for everything about amateurism and the educational priorities that supposedly define college sports. Why do schools keep putting these kids at risk? You already know the answer: $$$. The “preserving purity” discourse is only raised when student athletes seek to benefit from the system. The NFL and NBA have a little more leeway because players are addicted (which isn’t to say even pro leagues shouldn’t consider a temporary hiatus), but the NCAA really needs to ask for a break if I’m really focused on prioritizing the health and well-being of these students, who consistently and conceitly claim to be. A full allowance for the continuation of the season with cancellations in specific cases could allow this spread to continue much longer than necessary, while a short cancellation of a few games ahead would allow for a more structured rescheduling and a more even playing field. entering the tournament.

By March, there will likely be quite a significant number of teams with drawn or canceled games, so if that is the issue, perhaps the NCAA should move the tournament back a week or two to clear the playing field during conferences. Or they might just accept that tournament seeding will look a little different and work with what they have. But in both cases, in the state we are in now, there is virtually no justification for the season continuing over the holidays, particularly without pay. Yes, it sucks.

But it’s also the reality we live in, and it won’t do us any good to ignore what is clearly becoming a big deal.

Time to call him.

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