Gates are seen inside an empty Michigan Stadium on the University of Michigan campus amid reports of college football cancellation, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Emily Elconin

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced late Tuesday that they were postponing college football until Jan. 1, putting pressure on the other three major conferences — and a bunch of smaller ones — to cancel their fall seasons. 

Both conferences previously announced they would play a conference-only schedule, but the continued spread of COVID-19 made that unpalatable, especially after those concerns skyrocketed when doctors discovered myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that’s been attached to COVID-19, in some players after they came down with the illness. Some coaches criticized the decision, including Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, and Nebraska said it would attempt to play outside the Big Ten this year, even as the Big Ten commissioner swatted that idea down.

For the moment, other conferences pressed on with football, including the SEC and the Big 12. “Our student-athletes want to compete, and it is the board’s collective opinion that sports can be conducted safely and in concert with the best interests of their well-being,” Big 12 board of directors chairman and TCU chancellor Victor Boschini said in a statement.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Republicans Suddenly Have a Passion for College Football – The Nation – 8/12/2020
One of the first things you teach a child is the difference between “wants” and “needs.” You “want” candy. You “need” food. College football is a “want.” But the Republican Party has decided to call it a “need.”

Canceling College Football Could Save Lives — and Wake Up Some COVID Deniers – Truthout – 8/12/2020
If you are one who is paying close attention to the COVID-19 pandemic but have little use for big-time organized sports in this country, I urge you to pay attention to this. The 2020 college football season — slated to start within weeks — is on the verge of being canceled. If there is no fall football this year, the effect will be seismic not just in the realm of sports, but across the entire social and political landscape.

Millionaire Coaches and Republican Blowhards Have Derailed the Fight for Equity in College Football – The New Republic – 8/11/2020
This hesitation, combined with a mind-numbing political reality that thrives on culture wars, has turned the movement for long-term financial equity and power balance into a debate about whether America can defeat the coronavirus through the power of football. Coaches and politicians have alternated between infantilizing college athletes and demanding that these students be treated as adults—whichever suits the critics’ argument at a given moment.

College Football is punting until the spring. That creates problems. — The Wall Street Journal — 8/12/2020
Imagine the spring of 2021. March Madness has just come to a triumphant conclusion, the azaleas at Augusta National are in full bloom, and just around the corner is…college football’s rivalry week?

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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