Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is optimistic that college football will be played this fall.
“I believe that we will have college football in the fall pending an outbreak,” Beshear said at his Wednesday briefing. “You saw what happened with the NBA (shutdown in March). It wasn’t that there was COVID out there, it was that there was an outbreak.”
Beshear’s comments were made as the NCAA voted to approve a preseason college football practice plan that would allow games to start on schedule Labor Day weekend. It’s one thing to play the games. The logistics behind playing in front of fans are a completely different story.
“Whether there are fans and how many fans there can be will depend on a lot of factors ranging from how bad the virus is in multiple states to what the conferences decide to do to the plan that could be provided,” Beshear said. “What we are doing and what Ohio is doing on any large-scale event, it requires a separate plan that is provided that we work with and we come to an agreement about how it will be done.”
Beshear’s optimism is encouraging for football fans, although it isn’t a universally shared opinion. This morning epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci shared his concerns about playing football this fall with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta. “Unless players are essentially in a bubble – insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day – it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall.”
Dr. Fauci’s idea may apply at the professional ranks. Colleges are a completely different setting. The University of Kentucky and almost every other secondary institution in the country has announced plans to return to in-person classes on campus this fall. If students are interacting with one another in classrooms, shouldn’t they be allowed to interact on an outdoor field as well?