One of the main arguments against college football is that it should not be played if students are not on campus. But what if that would actually make it safer to play football?
The idea of a “bubble” has been floated around by every expert in the business. The National Basketball Association has been doing it since June and is still playing as of now—same goes for the National Hockey League. The problem with a bubble in college athletics is as simple as this: You cannot tell college kids what to do or not do and expect them to just do it. Unlike the professional athletes, collegiate athletes are not tied down by certain rules or contracts. Though it can be hard to remember at times, these collegiate athletes are just like all other college students. They are kids who want to hang out with friends, party and live their lives.
So, no, a bubble is not a feasible option for being able to play college football. However, some colleges around the country are inadvertently creating a different kind of bubble that just might work. Multiple schools have already announced they will return to remote learning after previously bringing students back to campus. This sudden change has been due to outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus.
By sending students home but continuing to play football, universities are making it safer for athletes to compete. There is less interaction between athletes and students when the learning is remote as opposed to if it was in-person. Also, by limiting the amount of people on and around campus, it is safer for athletes to live their daily lives with less risk of contracting the virus. The temptation of going to parties and gatherings is also more limited because of the reduced likelihood of these events.
The majority of LSU's offensive line is now in quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus, The Advocate reported Wednesday afternoon.
Not only would college athletes be safer, but students would too. Fully remote learning, although not ideal for just about anyone, is the safest option during this time of uncertainty. Yes, in-person class sizes are reduced, and some classes are hybrid (half online, half in-person), but by being on campus and interacting with other students, the odds of getting sick are still much higher than if learning were fully remote. Going fully remote seems to be the safest option for students and athletes when it comes to the health of everyone on campus.
As it stands, students are still going to class on many campuses around the country, including ours. Athletes are still practicing and preparing to play football in the coming weeks. To protect everyone within the community while also ensuring that football is played, a bubble must be created for the athletes. It may not be created by turning classes fully remote, but the idea of having a bubble is without a doubt the most feasible option for all parties involved. This makes everyone safer and will give us a better chance of watching the Tigers on Saturdays in the fall.