To Play College Football this Fall, or Not, Is a Risk Management Question
If college football calls off the fall season, it will not resume until next fall. Mark it down.
Consider that a vaccine likely will not be ready until late winter. I know. I know. The media keeps telling us it is around the corner. And who is feeding them this line of crap, pharmaceutical companies (think stock price) and the administration (think re-election).
Even if, a huge “if” mind you, a vaccine is ready in January, the full rollout could take six months or longer, beginning with the most vulnerable. Imagine the bad optics of allowing college students to cut in line of grandma in the nursing home. Its not happening.
And if football, and other revenue sports, do not happen until next fall, the economic results will be catastrophic for colleges who support large athletic departments with revenue generated from football and basketball.
Here’s where the risk management part comes into play. It is reasonable that college students will die this fall – and some will be related to COVID. They can catch the virus playing football just as easy as they can catch it an off-campus party.
Note what Clemson’s star quarterback, Trevor Lawrence said on Twitter: “People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract covid19.”
But no one is going to sue the university if they catch the virus at an off-campus party. However, if it is proven that the virus was contracted during a university-sanctioned activity, like a football game, the university will get sued.
So that’s the risk management question for colleges and universities. Either you risk playing football and having a family sue you, as well as the bad optics from a public relations perspective, or you lose billions of dollars in revenues as well as impact the lives of millions of people.