The dominoes are officially starting to fall. Yesterday, UConn became the first FBS program to cancel its football season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. This move was rather expected, as an independent UConn didn’t have a conference of opponents to face, and Connecticut regulations would require UConn players to 2 week quarantine after returning from away games in hot spots and most teams traveling to Connecticut would have to 2 week quarantine, which wouldn’t be possible within the College Football schedule.
As a UConn fan, I have no problem saying they haven’t been very nationally relevant in a while. Today however, a household name in the CFB world officially announced he won’t be participating in the upcoming season as Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons opted out of Penn State’s conference only, no fan season. Parsons has racked up accolade after accolade (Freshman All American, First Team All American, First Team All Big Ten), is easily the top linebacker in the country and arguably the best defensive player in the FBS.
As it turns out Parsons final game in the Blue and White was the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic where he was defensive MVP of the game. Parsons will use the time to train for the 2021 NFL Draft, where he will be a surefire top ten pick.
The past few days have opened more and more eyes to the problems faced in college football. Every day there is a new story about coaches and players clashing, whether it be over COVID or opting out, there are legitimate concerns across the board and there seems to be no solid plan nationally, everyone’s kind of just winging it on their own. There are now 3 players with first round potential opted out, including the top defensive prospect in the country. With more states not allowing fans, and MLB’s disaster showing us the non-bubble option can wreak havoc, it is obvious that a bubble is the best answer for sports right now.
However the NCAA can’t put players in this bubble, because then it becomes too obvious that they aren’t really students, they are just used to make money. That would destroy the NCAA in any NIL legislation the comes in the upcoming years. So instead they will try to pull off a semi-normal season, banking on college kids to follow guidelines that adults have shown no regard for, expecting everything to go fine.
As the days go by more and more players will be opting out, until we ultimately hit the disastarous cash grab that will be the 2020 College Football season.