The NCAA is massive.
With well over 100 college football teams and thousands of players among its ranks, steering clear of a global pandemic is nearly impossible. To that end, athletes are finally being allowed back on campus for the first time since March and at the University of Alabama, at least five of them returned with COVID-19, per CNN.
This is all bad.
At Oklahoma State, senior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga attributed his diagnosis to participating in recent protests in neighboring Tulsa, Okla.
“After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he tweeted. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.”
Each school has deployed different protocols to address the matter, as Oklahoma State has deterred incoming freshmen from reporting to campus while other schools have imposed quarantines and other methods.
In response to this news, the Office of Strategic Communications at Alabama released a statement expressing their concern for the well-being of their student-athletes:
“The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority. Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus. Due to privacy laws we cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes.”
Translation: there isn’t a chance in hell that some little funky ass pandemic is about to slow up our $177 million hustle.
These are obviously uncharted waters that the NCAA is navigating, but if so many players are already contracting the virus with offseason activities so severely limited, this doesn’t bode well for college football once the season actually starts—especially if it involves star players like Ogbongbemiga, who’s one of the best linebackers in the Big 12.
You think the NBA has any extra room at Disney World?