First, the news:
The Pac-12 announced today that they will not be playing any sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year. That includes, I'm told, college basketball games.— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) August 11, 2020
So the Pac-12 becomes the first major conference to follow the Ivy League's footsteps.
It's hard to see this as anything other than another domino. I'd bet the farm that the Pac-12 isn't the last major conference to make an announcement like this. Couple that with the weird will they/won't they that Big Ten football has been doing about if and when their season will happen and it feels like we are right there for losing another season of college sports.
If you don't want to read my ranting, stop right here.
I know there are people in the world with real problems, but it's hard for me not to be angry about this. Losing one NCAA tournament was a real crotch shot to me; it's one of the landmark events of my year and a time where almost all of my family congregates to hang out, eat, and watch hoops. We love it. It seems increasingly unlikely that we'll get something resembling a normal tournament again this season.
We are here because we have botched the response to this pandemic from the start as a nation. We have not had a coherent national strategy beyond wishing it away - fifteen going to zero, it will be gone by April, it's under control, it will go away in the heat, et cetera. None of that has come to fruition.
Across the world, countries that took this seriously are starting to make overtures towards returning to normal. It's weird to watch soccer being played in empty stadiums and F1 races in front of vacant grandstands, but it is a darn sight better than what the college sports season is shaping up to be, which is nothing.
Edit: Brad just informed me the Big Ten has also pulled the plug.
Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren’s statement pic.twitter.com/RjwAHfbKQK— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 11, 2020
We will get sports back when we get a handle on the virus. No amount of wishing or patchwork of legislative decisions is going to steer around the cold reality that the morbidity and mortality risk of this virus is too high to send unpaid proto-adults out to compete for our entertainment.
This sucks, unambiguously. The people who are making these calls don't take pleasure in it. They do it knowing they are costing millions of dollars and ruining the years of people who have little to no causitive role in the current predicament.
Wear a mask. Stay away from other people as much as possible. Exercise caution where you can. Give as much grace as you can muster to your fellow man. I don't know what else to say. I hope there are brighter days ahead.