Some Conferences Are Determined: There Will Be College Football This Fall

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There There will will be be college college football football this this fall. fall. Maybe Maybe that that is is the the message message this this week week from from some some top top football football schools schools and and conferences. conferences. It It comes comes after after two two powerhouse powerhouse conferences. conferences. The Big 10 in the Pac 12 announced they were canceling their full seasons because of the Corona virus. NPR's Greg Allen reports how colleges that are planning to play hope to protect the health of their athletes. Even many hard core college football fans are skeptical how Khun well over 100 people on a typical team training play without spreading the Corona virus, possibly shutting down the season this week, three of the top conferences, the SEC, the SEC and the Big 12 said their plans this fall to play and do so safely. John Thrasher is president of Florida State University, which is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. And what we frankly want to send is a message to some of the other schools that may be teetering on whether or not to play football. We think it's a bit in the best interest of our student athletes. For us to play football. We could do it safely and we can do it productively for them for fans, athletes and the multi $1,000,000,000 sports entertainment complex built around college football things looked bleak Tuesday. Two major conferences, The Big 10 in the Pac 12 canceled their fall schedules because of the uncertainty and health risk surrounding the Corona virus. The announcement by the remaining three of the power five conferences that they would have a fall season came after athletes began a hashtag. We want to play movement on social media. At Florida State Wide receiver Keyshawn Helton says he believes training and playing with regular testing and medical protocols in place. Maybe safer than not playing. You talk about 18 or 22 year old Just quarantine at the house. That's unrealistic. There's really there's so many other things that you know God, I'm going to go do which is not safe. So being here with my team, and all of us together is the safest forth. The college conferences are pushing back the start of their seasons to give them extra time to get ready and perhaps learn from the experiences of other sports. Putting players inside a bubble like the N BA has done in Orlando isn't feasible for student athletes who live on campus and have to attend classes. University of Miami coach Manny Diaz believes college football can learn from the English soccer leagues, which resumed play in June. Without fans with so much at stake. He believes his athletes will be careful. They're aware that they've got to keep their bubble small. They understand the value of what a mask doesn't and who that protection If you're around people who don't have mass on, you've got to find another place to be, but with all that there's risk and going ahead with the college football season. One concern that was reportedly a factor in the decision of some conferences to postpone play is new information about a heart condition. My card is that has been linked to the Corona virus. It's an inflammation of the heart that can lead to long term problems. Announcing its decision to play the Big 12 conference, said any players who test positive for the Corona virus would receive an E K g echocardiogram, cardiac Emery and further heart tests before returning to play. Gabe Feldman, the director of the Sports Law program at Tulane University in New Orleans, says If the schools are transparent and take the right precautions he thinks they can play. Every school in the athletic department has to be very clear with all of their athletes. About what the risks are and what the unknowns are. And then the athletes have to have a choice. It's one thing to play. But can there be fans in the stadium? University of Florida athletic director Scott Strickland says he hopes so We want to be on a have fans, and we hope we're in a position to do that. But you see, this is the NFL season now starts earlier than ours, and A lot of NFL teams and still have a made determinations. Yet that could be the riskiest. Part of all some schools were opposing plans that would limit attendance to 25% of a stadium's capacity, which would still bring together a huge crowd of 20,000 or more cheering, screaming fans. Greg Allen. NPR NEWS Miami

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