Beginning of the End of Fall Sports?

Sep 2, 2017; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; The North Carolina Tar Heels take the field prior to a game against the California Golden Bears at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Colleges all across the nation are reopening their doors to students this month, and are doing so with proper COVID-19 protocols in place. However, these protocols don’t necessarily always guarantee success.

Today, the University of North Carolina became the first major university to have to change its course due to COVID-19.

According to multiple sources, UNC reported 135 new cases of COVID-19 on campus, prompting the university to switch to fully remote classes for the fall semester. This brings the total number of cases on campus to 324, but the troubling bit of news is that there are only four quarantine dorms remaining for students.

Many sports analysts across the nation immediately jumped on this story, pleading doom and gloom for college sports — football in particular — this fall.

However, the Tar Heel Athletic Department has since released a statement, and are still on track to compete this fall.

According to the statement, UNC athletes will continue to take online classes and will remain at their residence, whether it be on or off campus. They will continue to follow protocols put into place by the university and health officials.

While this may be a relief to many, instances like this will only continue to pop-up across the nation. Though UNC has reacted in a rational manner, many poorly led universities may struggle to have any sort of competence in a situation like this.

It is sad to say, but this may be pegged later on as the beginning of the end of fall sports in 2020. It can be controlled, and the number of cases is small percentage-wise as compared to the entire campus — but as we have seen with the Big Ten and Pac-12, never rule out the possibility of a knee-jerk reaction.

Hopefully College Football can continue to press forward, but there may be too many people who care nothing about the sport in decision-making positions.