In just the last week, three FBS programs have postponed their upcoming games due to COVID-19 concerns. Baylor, Florida, and Vanderbilt all contacted their opponents requesting that their matchups be moved to later in the season because of spikes in positive results within the football programs.
Baylor first reached out to their would-be opponent, Oklahoma State, on Sunday, requesting the game be pushed back to Dec. 12 on account of 42 active cases of COVID-19 between players and staff. Florida suspended all team activities Tuesday ahead of their anticipated matchup with LSU after 18 scholarship players and three walk-on players tested positive for the virus. Vanderbilt is down to 56 scholarship athletes available against Missouri, only three above the minimum required by the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force to take the field.
As an Oklahoma State fan who has already seen one game postponed and endured the dreaded bye week, this makes me a bit annoyed. We were ready to play. LSU was ready to play. Missouri was ready to play. We all have our COVID-19 numbers somewhat under control, so why should we be forced to scrap our week’s preparation just because our opponent can’t?
On top of that, to rub salt in the wound, you had Baylor celebrate Homecoming on Friday night inside McLane Stadium.
That was another swift kick in the groin to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and all their fans who were juiced up to get back to game action this weekend. Frankly, it was insulting.
Is it events like this, that clearly can result in more COVID-19 spread, that might be part of the problem as to why they’ve had an outbreak? No one knows for sure, but it definitely doesn’t show great judgement in Waco.
This is why I believe that programs that postpone games should be forced by the NCAA and their respected conference to forfeit the game they wish to reschedule. The win will be rewarded to the team who got canceled on, with the loss given to the team requesting the postponement.
If you ask me, there should be consequences for failure to keep your players and staff clean. A handful of cases is one thing, the virus is unpredictable and you never know who you could get it from, but spikes in a hefty portion of an entire football team means proper safety measures were not taken. Therefore, if you refuse to adhere to necessary COVID-19 precautions, you forfeit the right to play. Plain and simple.
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