Any attempt to have a college football season this year will very likely be a disaster due to the characteristics of the virus itself, along with our criminally negligent political leadership’s indifference to the spread of the disease throughout society. The deeply corrupt nature of the institution of college football, which treats the players as simultaneously extremely lucrative and entirely expendable, makes matters much, much worse.
CSU football players and university athletic department staff say coaches have told players not to report COVID-19 symptoms, threatened players with reduced playing time if they quarantine and claim CSU is altering contact tracing reports to keep players practicing.
And they say those actions by the athletic administration is putting their health at risk in return for monetary gain the school would receive if fall sports are played.
Football players said they would like to play this season but don’t believe there should be a season given the spike in positive cases on the team in the past two weeks and the threat of more once Colorado State’s full student body comes to campus later this month.
“I believe there is a cover-up going on at CSU,” said a current football player who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. “But they could only cover it up so long and now that we have so many cases across athletics, they can’t cover it up anymore. It’s not about the health and safety of the players but about just trying to make money off the players.”
Said an athletic department staff member: “There are some red flags in the athletic department but the common denominator with this administration is to protect the coaches before the student-athletes and that makes them feel more like cattle than student-athletes.”
I wish I could believe this is likely to be an isolated case, but the incentives that motivate this monstrous conduct are similar in most major sports schools. The dead-end defenders of the myth of amateurism as an excuse to exploit a captured labor pool are going to look more and more wicked and ridiculous going forward.