The Big Ten became the first Power Five college football league to postpone the coming 2020 season, making the announcement today. The league was followed by the Pac-12, which has done the same. Both conferences say they will consider playing this spring if possible. ESPN’s Rece Davis doesn’t think that works at all.
While it makes sense to keep the option open, it is a very significant question whether playing in the spring is at all feasible. We all hope there is a vaccine sooner than later, which could open the door for larger-scale activities like college sports. Playing in the spring, in the name of player safety, and then turning around and playing again in the fall seems counterproductive as well.
Davis brought this up, and isn’t hearing player safety as an excuse for moving things to the spring. He cites the ACC’s medical advisory team reportedly giving the league the okay to play going forward. He also says he wants to see the data about myocarditis and the other medical information that led the Big Ten to make this decision.
“I’m interested to hear this. I want to know what that medical information is. If it’s the wise thing, then that’s great, but the independent nature of each conference making these decisions and not necessarily coming from a place of collective information is a little bit frustrating.”
Unless someone proves otherwise, playing football in spring followed by another season in fall of 2021 is irresponsible for health reasons beyond Covid. pic.twitter.com/4HD4HdcpQD
— Rece Davis (@ReceDavis) August 11, 2020
If Big Ten football can’t happen this year, Rece Davis seems to accept that. He doesn’t think it is at all reasonable to ask players to play in the spring and turn around and play again in the fall, given the physical nature of the sport.
“If you ask these guys to come and go through those types of collisions, and then turn around and do it again in the fall without pushing it out far enough so the medical professional can convince me that there’s been enough time not only to recover, but to try to prevent other injuries in addition to concussions and be properly conditioned and trained for a football season, and all the inherent risks that come with that. If you’re going to do that and play 20 games maybe, 18-21 games in less than a calendar year, don’t talk to me about safety anymore. I don’t want to hear it. It’s disingenuous if that’s the case.”
If there is a spring college football season, one has to imagine that the 2021 fall season would have to be pushed back a fair bit, to give players time to recover. Of course, given the level of planning that was done ahead of this fall, with five months to prepare, I doubt any league is that far along.