Here it is August and we are still arguing about wearing masks, personal freedoms, opening schools and playing sports. Clearly, these arguments are proof of a massive national failure to understand and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
That has never been more evident than this past week as we watched the 2020 college football season begin to come apart at the seams. One after another, college football programs and entire conferences announced they were not going to play any fall games.
Let’s be clear, we are not advocating for college football games to be played this fall, nor are we advocating against it. That debate has a multitude of layers that encompass so many facets of our lives.
What we find unacceptable is that there has been no leadership for this multibillion-dollar sport at a time that has needed it most.
If you are looking for someone to blame, you can begin with the NCAA, even though it has no real control of the FBS level of football, outside of being an enforcement wing. Instead of showing any desire for accountability as the governing body, the NCAA has been surprisingly uninvolved in any decisions and has left the hard choices to incohesive conferences or schools.
But the NCAA isn’t the only group at fault in this mangled mess. The five power conferences held meetings over the past five months but could never agree on how to move forward. The major colleges and conferences had adequate time to develop a unified plan for the fall football season. Instead, we are now seeing an uncontrolled mess of cancellations and second-guessing.
We are frustrated as we watch all of this play out in such a haphazard and disjointed way. Any real plans for moving forward are still missing, just as the leadership has been.
On Monday Louisville head coach, Scott Satterfield, was quoted by WDRB.com and he summed it up pretty well. “It’s lack of leadership,” Satterfield said. “And, you know, how do you not put a plan together for months? We all were in our houses for three months. Plenty of time to put a plan together. And when you put a plan together, then you work your plan. So, you plan your work, and you work your plan. That’s what we do as football coaches, that’s what we do as leaders. Well, you have lack of leaders, then you plan it out and then you say, ‘Oh well, we can’t do that we got to just shut the whole thing down.’ That’s a lack of leadership, in my opinion.”