Richard Foster

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COVID-19's Impact on College Football

COVID-19's Impact on College FootballFootball

Richard Foster, Attorney

It is no secret that COVID-19 has had an impact on various aspects of professional and college sports. COVID-19 has forced many sports leagues to create new safety protocols in order to limit or eliminate the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, it limits the possibility of games being canceled and/or disrupted due to a spread of COVID-19.

College football has been significantly affected by this pandemic. This piece will take an in-depth look at how much of an impact this pandemic has had on this sport.

COVID-19 left many college football programs with a myriad of decisions over how they are going to compete during this season. In many cases, many college football teams pondered not participating in the 2020-2021 college football season.

In professional leagues such as the NBA and NFL, collective bargaining agreements made between ownership and player unions made it easier for players to have a say with regards to whether games should be played in the midst of COVID-19.

However, it is not quite that simple in college sports. College players do not have a union. Additionally, there are no collective bargaining agreements in college sports.

Thus, the decisions are either left up to the institutions themselves or left up to conferences such as the Big Ten or ACC.

It is possible for conferences to work together to establish uniform regulations. However, those regulations could only be intended towards teams that play for that particular conference. Colleges and universities can institute other regulations depending on their financial situation.

Some schools may be unable to test all players due to financial constraints. Therefore, this highlights the complex situation in college football when it comes to developing consistent regulations across the board.

If a college football game between two teams from different conferences play, it is highly likely that there could be a potential conflict based on differing COVID-19 regulations in each conference.

For example, a team from the SEC may decide not to play a game against a team from the ACC because they may not like how little the players were being tested.

This underscores the complexity of the COVID-19 period in college football. A lot of understanding by teams is needed.     

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