Latest COVID-19 developments could jeopardize college football season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Will there be college football this fall? It’s one of the biggest questions in the sports world these days, and the latest COVID-19 developments around the United States aren’t providing much reason for hope.

UC Berkeley, other major colleges going online this fall due to COVID-19

One of the most prominent schools in the nation, the University of California, Berkeley, is joined several colleges by deciding to keep students off campus this fall due to the risks created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The primary cause for this is the ongoing coronavirus crisis across the country, which is spinning further out of control. The transmission rate continues to be well above what is deemed acceptable, and colleges are a breeding ground for transmission of the virus.

Recently, an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases was linked to fraternity and sorority parties.

“Most (maybe half to three quarters) are connected to the CalGreeks and others who attended parties elsewhere and/or went on to participate in other social events (or went back to their homes) and exposed others,” Berkely spokesperson Janet Gilmore wrote in an email.

After seeing the COVID-19 outbreak tied to a mass gathering of young and healthy students, UC Berkeley made the call to ensure the safety of its campus community by moving to online instruction this fall.

This is a troubling development for the NCAA and college football.

We already know that schools won’t have sports if students aren’t in class and decisions like this increase the chances of fall sports being postponed.

Obviously, Berkeley isn’t the only place where students could congregate and spread COVID-19. This is a national problem and it has people like SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey recently sharing his concern for college football this year is “high to very high.”

US Surgeon General with stark comments on coming school season

On Tuesday, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams appeared on CBS This Morning and made it clear America is not where it needs to be to open schools.

Adams stated it simply, the current transmission rate in the United States is not low enough for students to return safely to campus.

“We know the risk is low to the actual students,” Adams said. “But we know they can transmit to others. … We need to take measures to make sure we protect those who are vulnerable either because they are older or they have chronic medical conditions.”

It’s a stark break from what we’ve heard coming from the White House in recent weeks. President Donald Trump has been pushing hard for schools to open nationally during television interviews, press conferences and on Twitter.

However, it appears that President Trump is starting to pivot with the pandemic worsening. He recently started wearing a mask after refusing for months, and now the country’s surgeon general is cautioning against schools opening up.

The bottom line: 2020 college football season in jeopardy due to coronavirus pandemic

All that is to say, even at the highest levels of government, people are very concerned about opening schools right now. California high schools have already announced that fall and winter sports are being delayed until December or January. This could be a more common trend if things don’t vastly improve, and quickly, around the nation.

Recently, major college football head coaches have been coming out with public service announcements asking everyone to wear a mask if they want a season.

Clearly, the season is in doubt. Everyone wants to play. Fans want to watch. But right now, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating, rather than declining in America.

All this spells doom for college football in 2020.