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Epidemiologist “pessimistic” for college football, but pros can “pull it off”

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Programs just don’t have the resources or willingness to do what needs to be done.

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

As the entire country longs for reliable semblances of normal life like live sports, the first televised football games that would be coming are likely not going to take place, says Dr. Zach Binney, an epidemiologist from Oxford College at Emory University.

NCAA football graces our TV screens in late summer a few weeks before the NFL starts and primes the pumps for pro fans. However, with COVID-19 still raging on and several outbreaks hitting different summer workouts for college teams around the country, the college football season is in jeopardy. Dr. Binney recently shared his thoughts on an episode of the Chat with NickBat podcast on the Buffalo Rumblings podcast network.

“In college I think it’s a lot harder because there is no way you can establish any kind of bubble, just being realistic. And most programs don’t have the resources or the willingness to even do regular testing as we’ve already seen with outbreak after outbreak at summer workouts. So I’m definitely somewhat pessimistic for college football.” said Binney. “I think the NFL has the resources to pull it off but we’re still waiting on the details of their plan.”

Some sort of sequestering of players or isolation in a bubble has become a mainstay of plans for sports leagues looking to get their games going again. It seems reasonable that different college programs are going to have different resources to handle the expenses needed to put their student athletes and coaches into whatever safety protocols are necessary.

What happens if only a portion of schools are able to handle the rigors necessary to field a team? Do highly coveted players from schools not fielding a team get to transfer to schools that are? How is the eligibility of student athletes effected adjusted to be fair? Questions abound as to how NCAA football could take place in 2020. Experts like Dr. Binney’s pessimism is both understandable and disappointing for football fans hoping to see games anytime soon.