Monday, March 9th the Utah Jazz played the Toronto Raptors in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the conclusion of the post game press conferences Rudy Gobert thought it would be a genius move to touch every single microphone and recorder.
Here’s Rudy Gobert touching a bunch of reporters’ audio equipment 2 days ago. Today, he tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Z3Lw1yfCfW
Imagine thinking you’re tougher than a virus that was on the verge of a global pandemic on Monday evening. Then a short 36 hours later, the NBA season comes to a halt due to childish behavior from a player acting like five year old that needs to touch everything in site.
I would hope some people are taking this thing a little more serious than before Wednesday, March 11th. Coronavirus has more than an impact on your own health, people need to realize they putting other’s health at risk. Also, pretty much no more sports for like a month… that sucks too!
Update March 12, 2020 11:15am
Rudy Gobert’s teammate, Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for Coronavirus because he insisted on touching every one of his teammates lockers and belongings.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested positive for the coronavirus, league sources tell ESPN. Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings. Now a Jazz teammate has tested positive.
Over the past two weeks I have published articles about the racial injustices I witnessed while in higher education as an NCAA coach and the first step towards a solution. After publishing last week’s article, Racism in Higher Education, NCAA Athletics, & NCAA Gymnastics Part 2, I noticed an issue with certain institutions purposely not stating “Black Lives Matter.”
The first step towards a solution, is for universities to state, “Black Lives Matter,” and show support to the movement on all levels from President down to the bottom, and every administrator in between. Simply being against racism is not enough anymore.
There are plenty of institutions of higher education that are not handling this social injustice the right way, below are examples of universities that are refusing to state “Black Lives Matter.”
Tennessee Tech University has made only one statement regarding the racial injustices on each the official university and athletics Instagram accounts.
The comments in the comment section of the following post are racist and insensitive, Tennessee Tech University has not denounced these comments.
Murray State University has been called out by their follower’s in this latest Juneteenth post.
Murray State University has not addressed the Black Lives Matter movement in any of their posts on the official Instagram account of the university or the athletics department. This has also been cross checked with their twitter accounts and university websites.
Belmont University has not made any other statements about the racial injustices besides the one above.
University of Tennessee-Martin Athletics refuses to state, “Black Lives Matter” in their sole statement on racial injustices, along with their official university Instagram account.
Austin Peay University Athletics has made only two posts on the racial injustices, one is a black box and the second is a Juneteenth post. The official university Instagram account has not made any posts about the racial injustices going on in this country.
The majority of Conference USA member institutions, are stating, “Black Lives Matter” with some making multiple posts regarding the movement. Except, University of North Texas has made one statement on their official Instagram with a black square and nothing else. You can read the despair in the comment section by their followers and students.
Many universities are refusing to state, “Black Lives Matter.” In my opinion, they are afraid of the impact to their bottom dollar from donors. Some of the examples above are from institutions in smaller towns in the southern portion of the United States, that are known to have historical roots tied to racism. Board of Directors, Presidents, and Administrators are scared to make a statement that might be viewed as political, when this is NOT a political issue, but a human rights issue. Leaders of these institutions are more worried about losing donation dollars from donors, that are against the Black Lives Matter movement, and are racist, rather than actively denouncing racism and showing active support to students.
Leaders in higher education need to do the right thing and take a stand as ANTI-RACIST and publicly support the Black Lives Matter movement. There are students that do not feel supported in this movement by their institutions and they are making it known in the comment sections on the posts above. Change needs to happen.
Institutions of higher education are microcosms of our society, and to make a true change in society, they need to actively support and make progress in racial injustices. By not making active progress, they are complicit in continuing the systemic racism in this country.
Since the release of my previous article “Racism in NCAA Gymnastics,” I received feedback from many current & former student-athletes, coaches on all levels, friends, family, and strangers. The majority of the responses have been supportive and positive, but there are always going to be detractors and negative responses when speaking out on something like this.
Upon releasing the article on Friday, June 5th, the unnamed institution’s athletic department referred to in my article, made a statement about the racial injustices happening in this country.
Although, the President of the university released the following statement on June 1st, that didn’t say anything productive in the the fight against racism.
All the photos associated with the intrasquad from the official team Instagram account have been removed, along with the article recap posted on the athletic department’s website. But as of now, while this is being published, this university has not made a statement addressing the racist photos of “Cowboys vs. Indians” or any other situations addressed in the previous article.
This athletic department had not made any statement (only a black box for #blackouttuesday on Tuesday, June 2nd) about the racial injustices, until after my article was released, Friday morning around 9:30am. On that day, June 5th, at 4:49pm the athletic department released the statement below regarding the racial injustices.
This statement is garbage, because it lacks any substance or commitment to the racial injustice issue at hand. The three main issues I have with this statement are as follows:
Not Being Anti-Racist
The athletic departments states they are “against racism.” In today’s society, that is NOT ENOUGH, you must be ANTI-RACIST. This athletic department is NOT Anti-Racist. To be an Anti-Racist, is to actively shutdown racism, speak out against a racist joke, telling someone it is not okay to sing N-word, and having the uncomfortable conversation when someone says something racist. To be against racism, is a passive position.
Diversity & Inclusion Training
The athletic department states they will develop programming and initiatives for coaches and student athletes on diversity and inclusion. This is something they were already doing once a semester. This is clearly not enough. Bringing in a speaker once a semester for staff and student athletes was not sufficient, and doing it two or three times a semester will not make a difference.
“As an institution, we have established a goal to improve our recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff… Athletics as well, and we must work to improve our recruitment efforts to provide greater opportunities for minorities…”
The university and athletic department is stating, ‘We are going to hire more minority people as coaches and administrators and recruit more minority student athletes.’ This is something you SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOING! Affirmative Action is not a solution to the current problem. This law has been in place since 1961.
Not once did this university or the athletic department state, “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “White silence is violence,” or show support for student athletes that want to speak out! The student athletes are silenced, and it shows.
Below is the only comment from the statement posted by the athletic department, it is from a former student athlete:
All universities and institutions of higher education need to actively make statements with the following five points made in them:
State, “Black Lives Matter” in every statement on this subject.
State, “White silence is violence” in every statement on this subject.
State, “One statement is not enough.”
Show support to student athletes speaking out against the injustices, instead of silencing them.
Give the student athletes a platform to protest.
A great example of how an athletic department needs to handle this situation, would be Temple University. The following is there statement on the racial injustices:
Temple Athletics shows they support the Black Lives Matter movement, they state that one statement is not enough, and that this is an ongoing issue. They state, they are anti-racist, they flat out say, “white silence is violence.” They show full support to student athletes speaking out against racism and provide them a platform to be heard; along with a student athlete led protest. The statement calls upon fans, to support these student athletes off the field in this movement, because they support them on the field.
This is the model for how an athletics department and any other department within higher education institution should handle the current issue of racial injustices.
Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourim, & Hospitality Management (STHM) and the FOX School of Business have been sending out multiple emails about the current racial injustices. The following are two emails from this week that include links to educational resources and how to make a change.
The first step in moving in the right direction would be to speak out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as an institution and department. It needs to start from the top with the President of the University, to the Athletic Director, administrators, Head Coaches, professors, assistant coaches, down to volunteer coaches. They all need to speak out as anti-racist and fully support students and student athletes that desire to speak out. Many student athletes are seeking to speak out in support of this movement, but are fearful of losing a scholarship, getting kicked off their team, being reprimanded, or being ostracized by their teammates. It is the administration’s responsibility to make students and student athletes feel supported when speaking out as anti-racist and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Reflecting on Responses
It is NEVER acceptable to defend racism. Ignorance is not an excuse, anyone working in higher education needs to educate themselves on what they have said that is racist.
I have read apologies made by industry professionals, and they mean nothing if they don’t take ownership or are vague in their offenses. Those who have need to understand what they did was racist, and work on educating themselves extensively. If this is not done, there is no room in higher education for people like this in any type of leadership role.
Below are some other good examples of statements from athletic departments and institutions, showing support for their students and student athletes in the Black Lives Matter movement and continuing the education and conversation.
I spent three years as an Assistant Gymnastics Coach at an NCAA Division I institution from 2016 to 2019. I was fresh out of college with my bachelor’s degree from an extremely diverse university and the youngest full-time NCAA Gymnastics coach in the Nation at 22 years old in 2016.
I had joined this program in early October 2016, as the team was weeks away from the annual Halloween Intrasquad. Many programs around the country decide to make this the first public showing of skills and make it themed for Halloween. There were ideas tossed around in my first week at practice at the end of practice and one of them was “Cowboys vs. Indians.” I immediately spoke up stating, “Maybe let’s not do that, as it’s 2016 and dressing as Indians is racist and not acceptable.” I was not alone, other team members spoke up stating that this is racist and should not be done. We were simply brushed off by the Head Coach and others, being told it’s “not a big deal” and it’s just an “innocent costume.” The Head Coach held a vote for the gymnasts and coaches about the costumes. I, along with other team members, including black gymnasts voted opposing any Indian costumes. Several members of the team voted for this costume, and the student athletes that were against it, were forced to dress up as Indians. Anyone against it, was made to feel as though they were the ones being racist and overly sensitive. The black gymnasts and the ones that spoke up about the blatant racism were silenced.
For the intrasquad, the team was split up as “Cowboys vs. Indians,” with all the black gymnasts in the program on the “Indians” team and the “Cowboys” were only white gymnasts. These teams were specifically assigned by the Head Coach and no gymnasts were able to choose which costume they were forced to wear. Then a photo was required to be taken and posted on Instagram with the “Cowboys” pointing guns at the “Indians” and a black gymnast holding her hands up. The recap of this intrasquad is still published on the athletics website stating the team was “Cowboys vs. Indians.” I know the black gymnasts were in pain the entire time they had to experience this, forced to dress this way, and take photos that were posted to social media. This is an example of institutional racism towards Native Americans and blacks, as the Head Coach, intentionally assigned the black gymnasts to the oppressed side, the Indians, while also forcing these young women to dress up in a culturally appropriated racist costume. This was something that these black student athletes were highly offended by and against in all facets of this week long event.
Back in 2004, this institution went through the process of changing the mascot name as they were previously known as the Indians for decades. This change came about when an NCAA bylaw passed in the early 2000s stating any university with a Native American mascot/name would not be able to compete for an NCAA Championship. This caused a swift change over the next few years across the NCAA mascot landscape. There still are a couple around, like Florida State Seminoles, Utah Utes, and Central Michigan Chippewas, but they needed approval from local tribes to be able to keep the mascot name (they had to cut a check to these tribes to be able to keep the mascot names).
The audacity that an administration and an experienced Head Coach had no issue with the team dressing as Indians, posting photos to social media, which is all still publicly accessible, is astounding. I am calling attention to this issue on a public platform as I tried standing up to this racism back in October 2016, but was shutdown.
The following year, October 2017, the team is back debating at practice about what they should do as the theme for the Halloween Intrasquad. Many wanted to do “Cops vs. Robbers,” I vehemently expressed that we should not do ANYTHING involving guns, because I wanted to prevent any opportunities for a similar situation to occur again. I was then told by the Head Coach that I was, “too sensitive” and that I was “being such a Yankee,” because I was raised in the Northeast Region of the country.
Later in that week, there was a discussion of potentially doing the intrasquad as the Ghostbusters. One of the black gymnasts on the team asked what do the Ghostbusters wear, the Head Coach mumbled under her breath loud enough for the black gymnast to hear, “Orange jumpsuits, just like you and your boyfriend will be wearing in a few years.” Practice had ended, just as the comment was made, I was shocked that something like that would be stated. I wish I did more in the moment, but that student-athlete had the courage to go to administration, which launched an investigation in the following weeks.
Another moment in the previous year, I had been asked in a one-on-one meeting with this Head Coach, “Why do I only ever have issues with black girls on the team? I never have issues with the girls that go to church.” I was in the second month of my first full-time job out of college and didn’t have the courage to say, “Maybe you are the problem, not them.” I had a little more courage to speak out against the public displays of racism in my second year to prevent another Halloween Intrasquad fiasco with “Cops vs. Robbers.”
This Head Coach was relieved of her duties at the conclusion of the investigation in December 2017.
Throughout my second and third year coaching at this program, I witnessed multiple instances of ignorance from student athletes thinking it was acceptable to sing the N-word in a song. I had given multiple speeches to these student athletes explaining how offensive this word is, and that it is deeply rooted in racism. I was told, “but my black friends gave me permission.” I then would express that there is no such thing as a “pass” for a racist term. I would remind this group as much as possible when the N-word was sang in a song. Throughout the months I observed a decline in the use of this word when they would sing along to music (around me at least).
Then in my final year the new Head Coach thought is was acceptable to sing the N-word in a song on the team bus. She blatantly ignored the racism of the word, along with all the progress that had been made expressing to these young women that it is NEVER ACCEPTABLE to say the N-word. Here is a woman in a leadership role that is saying the N-word, and letting her student athletes think this is acceptable behavior. From that point on, when I would remind the gymnasts they should never say the N-word, some student athletes would say, “but (Head) Coach says it.”
There are still symbols of racism on the official gymnastics team Instagram account, and the article from that day of the 2016 Halloween Intrasquad is still posted. These need to be removed, and acknowledging there has been racism in the past. More needs to be addressed by the university & Athletics Department on this current Human Rights Issue of racism in this country, the NCAA, and at this Institution. I have reached out to the Athletic Director of this institution’s Athletic Department letting them know that there are still public displays of racism on official team social media accounts and the athletic department’s website.
These incidents were witnessed and experienced by me, first hand. The former black student athletes I had the privilege of coaching, have expressed that these are not isolated incidents and were just a few of many occurrences. Black gymnasts had experienced many racist comments throughout the years from many different people at the university on a routine basis, and this continued to occur even after they confronted the offenders about it.
I am not here to call out any individuals. The student athletes that were young and naive, should take this opportunity to reflect on these events. I hope that all of us can recognize what might have been said or done that was offensive to black student athletes. The institution and people in leadership roles need to recognize they have failed these student athletes.
These are issues that need to brought to the forefront and not buried in the past. This is how we can start the process of change, start a discussion, listen to experiences that people of color have gone through and are going through. I believe people can change and recognize their mistakes from the past and become educated and be better. The change must start from within, recognize your faults from the past, learn from them, and extend apologies to those you have hurt and let them know you are growing and learning. I have started this myself a few years ago, and still reflect to this day.
To all my former black student athletes, black student athletes across the NCAA, and to all persons of color, I stand with you, I am here to listen, advocate, and support, because BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Here is my first ten picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, along with a look at where I think some college football stars will land. Be sure to listen to the latest episode of The Nest College Football Podcast with Tony Bono and NFL Draft Analyst Matt Giannettinofor the full analysis on these picks and their picks, you can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you can find podcasts!
Top 10 Picks
Cincinatti Bengals – Joe Burrow QB LSU
Washington Redskins – Chase Young DL Ohio State
Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons OLB Clemson
Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
LA Chargers – Jalen Hurts QB Oklahoma
Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown DT Auburn
Arizona Cardinals – Jonathon Taylor RB Wisconsin
Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
2019 CFB Stars
Joe Burrow – LSU – Bengals
Tua Tagovailoa – Bama – Dolphins
Justin Herbert – Oregon – Jaguars
Jalen Hurts – OU – Chargers
Jake Fromm – UGA – Patriots
Jordan Love – Utah State – Raiders
Jacob Eason – Wash. – Steelers
Jonathon Taylor – Wisc. – Cardinals
D’Andre Swift – UGA – Dolphins
JK Dobbins – Ohio State – Chargers
Jerry Jeudy – Bama – Jaguars
Cee Dee Lamb – OU – Jets
Henry Ruggs III – Bama – Eagles
Matt Hennessy C – 2nd round, Top 3 Center
Harrison Hand S – 2nd round
Shaun Bradley ILB – 3-4 round
Chapelle Russell OLB – 4-5 round
Karamo Dioubate DL – 6-7 round
Isiah Wright WR/KR – 7-undrafted
How many Temple guys will Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers take?
Over/Under 2.5 Temple guys, I am going with the over! I say 3 Temple Guys get drafted by Matt Rhule as he has 10 coaches and 2 front office personnel all with Temple ties on his staff in Carolina.
Kristian Wilkerson WR – 4.46 40yd dash at Pro-day
Zach Hall LB – 4.69 40yd dash, 6-0 236 lbs
Baltimore Ravens only team that showed up on March 13th Pro-Day. Sadly none of these guys will likely get drafted our of SEMO this year with the current state of society and the lockdowns. Quarantine hurts the stock of guys like this from the FCS level, not being able to get in front of the scouts in person.
We are living through a time in history that will change the world forever. The current Global Coronavirus Pandemic has forced everyone across the world to stay home. As we all know, many of us have had to shift to working and learning from home over the internet. Unfortunately some have lost their jobs due to this change. But others have come to realize that their job can be done just as efficiently from a remote location, via the internet.
Potential Work Industry Changes
More jobs becoming remote
3-day weekends with a remote work day
Less sick day shaming
More sick days to workers
Likely one of the biggest changes we will see in a post-pandemic world, is more jobs becoming remote. With the internet many jobs outside of the service industry are able to be done over the internet. Will we see companies become more flexible and letting employees pick their own work schedule with the ability to work from home? Will we see 3-day weekends come out of this, with the third day becoming a remote work day? I am willing to bet we will likely see less sick day shaming, and hopefully more sick days to workers.
Masks and gloves worn daily
More home workouts
Appreciating what we had
Will we see people wearing masks and gloves on a daily basis post-pandemic, even once the dust has settled. We saw this already in Asian culture, as the masks are routinely worn on a daily basis especially during travel. People will workout at home more often, my roommate and I already built an in home boxing gym in the basement. We can all agree that we really appreciate what we had, and likely took our freedom for granted.
I am no medical expert, but I do have a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration, so I am coming from a place of mastery on the subject of Higher Education when I speak on the following.
In an interview Sunday evening with Richmond.com, President Jerry Falwell Jr. stated that up to 5,000+ students and faculty will be back on campus next week, disregarding all medical and government requests/demands.
All students are welcomed to move back in the dorms in their return from spring break. While faculty “without valid health exemption” are required to hold office hours for students.
The spring break that had 5,000+ students go out into society for a week all over the country and bring back Coronavirus to Lynchburg, VA. Places like the beaches of Florida:
The direct quote from President Falwell states, “I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life.”
At the time of this being written, the State of Virginia has 290 cases, 45 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths from the Coronavirus. You can see the live feed update here.
The majority of Higher Education institutions across North America have shut down and moved to remote learning. Only students that have no home to return to have remained on certain campuses across the country.
President Falwell has a plan in place to quarantine any students that test positive for the Coronavirus while on campus, he is just going to stuff them in an old hotel owned by the University.
The cherry on top is this quote from President Falwell, “I think we, in a way, are protecting the students by having them on campus together,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of them are not at the age to be at risk and they don’t have conditions that put them at risk.”
President Falwell is showing no regard for the health and safety of the student body, faculty and staff, and the local Lynchburg community. He is putting faculty and staff in danger forcing Professors and Instructors to hold office hours for students IN PERSON! The pure idiocy in thinking that 5,000+ students and faculty returning to the city of Lynchburg will not cause an outbreak for the community and threaten the lives of many is INSANE!
President Falwell should not hold a leadership position in Higher Education! He needs to immediately reconsider this decision.
Liberty University could be in jeopardy to lose their accreditation if they go through with opening of campus on Monday, March 30, 2020.
I encourage you to write an email to President Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraging him to follow suit with the rest of Higher Education Institutions across the country and moving to remote online learning, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been together since September 13, 2019, the day I decided to start “No-Shave November” almost two months early. You have been there for me through many journeys over the past seven months. From being unemployed, to moving to a new city, to Kobe Bryant passing, a Global Pandemic together, and so many more memories in between.
As the weather begins to warm-up I will not need your soft blanket on my face no more. But before we part ways lets take a look back at the good times we had over the past seven months…
We ate a lot of Mac N Cheese, tailgated some SEMO Football, moved to Columbus, OH, watch some Ohio State Football, stormed the field at Ohio Stadium, visited the family for Thanksgiving, got a sweet new hat, hit the slopes for some gnar, celebrated Christmas, got into NCAA Hockey at Ohio State, and into a Global Pandemic.
We have gone through some bad haircuts and bad beard trims and one or two great beard trims. We never got to maintain the Dan Bilzerian or Bradley Martyn beards, but did hit something similar at the peak of the beard.
I did my best to keep you soft and smooth, and to that I can thank Cremo and The Ordinary for their products. Cremo’s Beard & Scruff Softener has been magical, and then The Ordinary’s 110% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is some sweet oil to rub in post-shower.
The beard is still intact as of now, due to the weather not being warm enough, as it gets down to the 20s in temperature here in Columbus. As soon as there are seven straight days of the temperature reaching above 60 degrees, it will be time to part ways with you sir beard!
It is not goodbye, but see you soon…
Thanks for the memories as the weather is warming up.
For the first time ever, Tom Brady is going to be an unrestricted free agent after 20 years with New England Patriots. Brady is the first NFL player to spend 20 years with a single team and then leave for a different team.
Now the question is where will he go?
Here is my top 3 landing spots in order:
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Location, Location, Location: 3/10
Weather is great, but Tampa Bay is absolutely disgusting and no place for the greatest QB of all-time and his super model wife. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lived in like Miami and choppered in or private jet in everyday.
Head Coach Bruce Arians: 7/10
Love coach Arians as he’s been around for decades and is Temple Tuff! I would love to see Tom in a Temple Tuff system!
Still a very good possibility, especially since they are reportedly throwing the bag at Tom, but Tom has never gone after the money.
Tom is a California kid, born and raised in San Mateo just outside of San Francisco about a 6 hour drive from from LA, or in Tom’s case a quick hour and a half private jet flight.
Beautiful sunny Los Angeles is hard to resist, especially if you just launched your new production company called 199 Productions. 199 is a reference to the 199th pick he was in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn: 4/10
A running backs coach journey man that has been the Head Coach of the Chargers since 2017. He did spend from 2009-2016 in the AFC East, so he is familiar with Tom Brady, so that is the most optimistic positive I can find.
The location is key in this option! Just like high school social studies class taught us all: location, location, location.
1. Las Vegas Raiders
Location, Location, Location: 8/10
Las Vegas is just as warm and beautiful as Los Angeles, minus the beaches! But you are only an hour and ten minute flight (4-hour drive) away from Los Angeles. Still very feasible to transport to and from 199 Productions.
Head Coach Jon Gruden: 8/10
I love Jon Gruden. He is a QB master, growing up watching him breakdown every QB on ESPN’s “Gruden’s QB Camp,” you know he’s a guru. Am I biased from that, absolutely.
Did the Raiders just get Marcus Mariota? Yes. Can they get rid of Derek Carr or Marcus? Yes. A new branding of a franchise in Las Vegas with Tom Brady would be electric to see! Make it happen Mark Davis!
Where ever Brady lands we can all agree that the matchup of the century will be Tom vs. Bill. That is one game we can’t wait to see.
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are set to be hosted in Tokyo, Japan on July 24th – August 9th. The current state of society is one that is in no place to host any type of event at this time, but what nobody knows if the world will be ready by July 24, 2020.
According to Haruyuki Takahashi, one of the members of the Tokyo 2020 executive board stated, “We need to start preparing for any possibility. If the Games can’t be held in the summer, a delay of one or two years would be most feasible.”
Then later clarified that his statement was a personal opinion and not a professional statement on the matter and that the IOC President, Thomas Bach states that the Games must go on.
On Friday, March 13, Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto dismissed suggestions that Tokyo 2020 should be postponed.
At this time, the Games are not going anywhere except Opening Ceremonies on July 24, 2020. There are major financial, scheduling, and logistical implications if the games were to get postponed a year or two. The cost of hosting these Games in Tokyo has exceeded $12.35 billion, according to the organizing committee.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, stated the Games are to go on as planned “without a hitch.” I do not see a world that these Games go on “without a hitch” while having spectators in attendance. Being in attendance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro myself, the close proximity and mass amounts of spectators from all over the world will cause a resurgence of an outbreak shortly after the time of the Tokyo Games.
There are billions of dollars poured into the largest sporting event in the world along with a decade of planning. Sponsors, media rights, governing bodies, and athletes are not going to be able to cancel or just postpone such an event. The last time an Olympics was outright cancelled was in 1940 and 1944 for World War II, then before that in 1916 for World War I. There were nowhere near the financial implications on an event like this at that time compared to now.
The current format of the Summer and Winter Olympics alternating every two years started in 1994. At that time, the Winter Olympics only had a two year gap from the previous in 1992, the last time the Summer and Winter Games were held in the same year. This would be an extenuating circumstance to call for another hiccup in the pattern and postpone the Olympics to 2021 or 2022. I believe 2021 is the best option, as having two Olympic Games in the same calendar year is going to be tough logistically in this day in age.
Bumping the Olympics back to 2021 will cause all governing bodies of Summer Olympic sports to shift their entire 2021 schedule. But for the overall health and wellness of the athletes, coaches, staff, and spectators this is the right move. The 2020 Olympics Games are expected to bring in 11,091 athletes from 206 countries for 339 events in 33 sports.
The 2016 Olympic Games were worried about contracting the Zika virus, and I wasn’t worried much about that, in fact while I was there for a month I only saw two mosquitos in my time in Rio. But this is a whole different ball game, you can’t see it coming and you don’t know who has it and an event this size in a city this size can cause a second wave mass outbreak in August.
IOC President Thomas Bach & Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, do the right thing and move the Games to Summer 2021 for the sake of the human race.
Due to the recent news that the NCAA canceled all Winter & Spring sports for the remainder of the academic year, this leaves many sports, programs, and seniors with unfinished seasons and careers cut short. Leaving many seniors not getting the chance for a senior night in multiple sports.
The implications that lie ahead when considering a move like granting a special exception like an additional year are more than one would think.
Currently, a student-athlete can file for a medical redshirt if they only played in 30% or less of their season and not past the halfway point. Season that are past the halfway point include all the Winter sports listed above in the graphic.
In these circumstances of a medical redshirt, programs might save a scholarship for a player in that situation, but each program is very different.
If the NCAA were to grant a one-year exception to the rule for all senior athletes to have the option of coming back for an additional season, there would be a chaotic imbalance of parity throughout the nation in all Winter & Spring sports.
Let’s use Women’s Gymnastics or Men’s Basketball as an example as they both are a headcount sport (meaning only 12 student-athletes on roster can have a scholarship at any time from $1 to full tuition) of 12 scholarships. Let’s take a look at this comparison:
7 graduating scholarship seniors
7 incoming scholarship freshmen in August
19 Scholarship Student-Athletes
0 graduating scholarship seniors
0 incoming scholarship freshmen in August
12 Scholarship student-athletes
Now you are looking at Program A with 19 scholarship student-athletes competing against a Program B with 12 scholarship student-athletes. Where does the equal playing field go in the NCAA with a chaotic imbalance in all Winter and Spring sports.
Geno Auriemma is in favor of granting an extra year of eligibility to seniors, along with Jay Bilas, but does recognize the major implications on this decision.
Geno Auriemma is in support of offering the seniors of spring sports an extra year of eligibility.
But what about all the other student-athletes that lost a year of eligibility? Who is to say that any other student-athlete that is a freshman, sophomore, or junior that lost their season, it isn’t valued the same as a senior season. Does every student-athlete get an extra year of eligibility?
What about a basketball program like Southeast Missouri State University in the Ohio Valley Conference, whose season ended February 29th, that is completely unaffected by this NCAA Winter & Spring sport cancellation. Do the seniors on a team like that get an extra year, because other teams in the Nation would get additional eligibility?
A major complication in this scenario is you would have to open up the transfer portal for any incoming freshmen… What about the many incoming freshman that were promised and excepted to starting spot at their position their first year… Are they now able to transfer with no penalty?
If the NCAA were to go through with this unprecedented decision they would have to fund all additional scholarships and many other additional expenses themselves. There are 347 Division I Universities, of that 130 of them make up the FBS Subdivision, while there are 217 other Universities that are in the FCS Subdivision. Majority of the Universities at the FCS level do not have any type of lucrative TV broadcasting or apparel deals. These athletic departments and programs have to pay extensive amounts of money out of their budgets to field a certain number of student-athletes on a roster. Will the NCAA fund the extra apparel, meals, travel accommodations, along with the additional scholarships that raising the scholarship and roster counts would entail?
There are so many uncertainties in a situation like this. I do not see something like this being fairly implemented at such a large scale, and having next year’s Winter and Spring sports compete on an even playing field. The NCAA would have to fund all the “little guys,” you never hear about to keep their programs and athletic departments from going under and cutting programs.
The NCAA has announced that they will grant an additional year of eligibility for all Spring sports, additional issues and rules will be discussed in the coming days and weeks.