Should Western Michigan Play Football If The Campus Is Closed?
Little by little we are seeing glimmers of hope that sports will return in some form for us to watch. We probably won't be watching from the stands anytime soon but television will do for most of us. So far we have South Korean baseball, NASCAR is planning 7 races in 10 days in the Carolina's in May and there are a couple of made-for-television golf matches slated for this month.
In the midst of this MLB and NBA facilities are trying to open for players to get ready for the season or to finish the season but how that will happen is still up in the air. There's a real chance that we won't see professional sports conducted as we remember for the rest of the year. What about college sports?
We can only imagine the tremendous undertaking of getting student athletes tested and back on schedule for their respective disciplines. Not to mention making sure the student athletes feel safe in the overall environment. Which brings us to the first question. If the colleges and universities can't get to the point of assured safety, will campuses be able to open in the Fall? If not, will student athletes become just athletes since they won't be enrolled in classes?
The NCAA which governs almost all college athletics has already inferred that without students there won't be student athletes. However, the NCAA does not govern college football. Which means that organization is free to call their own shots. Early in discussions there was a plan floated for college football to move the season to late winter and early spring thereby buying some time to get more organized.
Personally, I don't see a problem with that especially since the games that mean the most will be played in warmer weather. Of course, that advantage only comes into play if fans are allowed in the stands.
So, for now, the questions are: Should college football programs play games without the campuses being open? Should student athletes be able to compete if they are not students? What do you think?