Sunday, August 16, 2020

Jocks and COVID-19

Tampa Bay, Fl 
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author:  In Search of Robin
, So You Want to Blog.      

If you watch TV or read the newspapers, you're probably well aware that the sports world is in a complete uproar regarding the upcoming football season.

TV sportscasts are filled with anguished looking coaches and athletic director's and whining players about the possibility that the 2020 collegiate football season may be canceled by the conference they play in.

It just seems inconsistent with me that the coaches and administrative arms of these major college athletic programs are having such a hard time coming to grips with the fact that putting players, coaches, staff, fans and all the support people that go with big time conference football at risk is a tough decision.

Thank goodness that some major college presidents are taking the lead and making the courageous decision to simply shut the athletic programs down. That's a college I would want to send my kid too.

We barely know what the short-term consequences of the COVID-19 virus are, let alone the long term affect this virus may have on young people who have contracted it.

So why take the risk?

A widely popular motivational speaker from a few years back, Wayne W. Dyer, coined the phrase, “If you are what you do when you don't you aren't.” What it simply means is if all of your life, and every fiber of your being are all about the work you do and that is suddenly taken away from you may suffer greatly.

I think there's way too much ego in this decision-making process. Athletic directors who want bragging rights, coaches who value their careers and their win-loss record and their viability to move into the NFL much more than they value the health, safety, career than the life expectancy of their students and athletes.  

A little harsh?

Well maybe, but when I see a seemingly well-educated collegiate football coach blubbering in near tears about the possibility that, “His season” may be canceled if the conference decides not to play it just seems to me the concern, here is just a little misguided.  

A number of college students who are currently playing college football have decided to opt out of the season for health reasons. These are the smart guys. These are the guys who are looking at a short-term season versus a long-term career and saying, “You know what if I come down with this thing?” “I'm not sure my lungs or some other part of my body is going to be capable of competing in professional sports down the road.”

You must give them a lot of credit for being smart enough to think that far ahead and looking at the long term as opposed to the short term.

Somewhere in all of these newspaper articles and sportscasts it always comes down to the money. How much money are they going to lose? How much is it going to cost the athletic Department of some University and now, in some states, how much money are the athletes going to lose if they can't play and get all that endorsement cash?

I just wonder how some athletic director or coach is going to feel 15 or 20 years from now when he gets a text, or a phone call, and it says do you remember player so and so? Well I'm sorry to tell you, but they passed away last night, and the cause of death was long-term complications from the corona-virus.

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