Mind of Mike: Hey Big 12, SEC, ACC – don’t quit without trying

Several reports indicate Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has decided to cancel fall sports.
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The Mind of Mike is a dangerous place. Here are the latest thoughts from Rivals National Director Mike Farrell about what the Big 12, SEC and ACC should do.

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Dear Big Ten. You didn’t even try. Shame on you.

Dear Pac-12. Get a spine and stop following the lead of the Big Ten. Shame on you.

I’m done talking about these two conferences for now, because we still have others to focus on — others who seem to want to play football.

Dear Big 12, SEC and ACC. Don’t listen to the above quitters. And I’m not talking about coaches or players in the Big Ten or Pac-12. It’s clear they want to play (or at least most do). Don’t listen to the presidents who voted to shut the fall down and postpone football to the spring. Don’t listen to the naysayers who didn’t even try to see if their protocols and safety measures would work and pulled the plug six weeks before they had to. Stay the course and remain patient.

As I’ve stated before, this isn’t about player safety. It’s about fear of litigation and poor optics. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. It’ll likely be here in the spring. It’s something we need to adapt to and putting our head in the sand won’t help. I thought that was the plan for college football but I’m apparently wrong.

MORE: Liability the driving force behind decisions to cancel, Farrell says

Yes, I get that I’m not risking my own health to play football and social distancing is impossible in a contact sport. But I also know the economic downfall of this country has taken a healthy toll on many from stress levels to mental health issues and more. And I know that losing college football will worsen that — from economic loss to other factors. More people will lose jobs now and more people will suffer because of this decision, which flies in the face of what players, parents and coaches want. All out of fear of litigation and poor PR.

The big question is this: Will playing college football increase the spread of COVID-19 or decrease it? An argument can be made for both sides, but you have to try first to see. Sure, a contact sport could lead to more infections, so that side of the argument is valid. But keeping the players safe, tested and supervised on a daily basis could also lead to fewer infections than a postponement of college football when athletes are out in the world without testing.

And what happens in the spring? What’s going to change in a few months?

I’m a realist. College football may have been a disaster this season with testing, diminished rosters, depth issues and perhaps even cancellation of games due to positive results. But at least try. Maybe things wouldn’t go off the rails. The NBA seems to be managing. Major League Baseball has had some issues, but it’s still chugging along.

Students are back on many campuses now and COVID-19 is a part of college life the same as it is in the real world. Let’s play football – or at least try – and watch the Big Ten and Pac-12 regret their decision. That’s all I ask.

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