clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NCAA punts on fall sports decision, while MLB model begins to crumble

As the NCAA postponed a decision on what to do with fall championships, it may have found the answer with Major League Baseball struggling to launch a shortened season

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake looks on during the Cougars’ scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.
BYU head coach Kalani Sitake looks on during the Cougars’ scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.
Gabriel Mayberry

PROVO — The NCAA punted last Friday.

A decision on whether to cancel, postpone or go ahead with fall championship play in the NCAA was delayed Friday to Aug. 4 by a committee comprised of college presidents representing three divisions of competition, including Power Five and Group of Five conferences.

Meanwhile, teams like BYU, which may or may not have a game against Alabama to open the season as a replacement for a trip to Utah, began workouts on Monday, meeting a mandated six-week preparation period before a game can be played.

The NCAA delay?

If this sounds a little cautious, preemptive or fearful in this era of the pandemic, you are correct. Nobody wants liability or blame if things start up and folks get sick.

At this stage, the presidents might do well to just forge ahead and make it simple, have players, coaches, staff and even fans who want to sit in the stands sign a waiver. If you don’t want to play, don’t sign and sit the sidelines. If you want to play, sign the waiver and play, taking full responsibility for what may happen.

In the meantime, protocols for testing, quarantine, social distancing and use of masks are in full deployment. I think the NCAA presidents and athletic directors are looking at the professional sports — Major League Baseball, the NBA and NFL — to see any blowback in the coming days, and then decide what to do.

They are using that as a cover.

Just look at the Miami Marlins, who had the virus spread through the team this past week and had to cancel their game against Baltimore on Monday, according to ESPN. Major League Baseball tried to start. It could not without issues already arising.

It’s kind of crazy. Millions of dollars are at stake. Fans are anxious and willing to pay to watch. Players have trained their entire lives for this. Seniors are champing at the bit to get their final parade started. Coaches are taking pay cuts. Fans wonder if they should buy tickets or get rebates and rain checks.

In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert declared:

“The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November,” Emmert said. “We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see. It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair manner.”

It reminds me of a stacked washer/dryer advertisement my son-in-law Matt posted over the weekend on Facebook.

He covered all his bases, both with declarations and waivers, and admitted to losing money. His post read like the NCAA committee discussions in tone.

It read:

Dryer works flawlessly.

Washer makes a ton of noise. Washer is nearly always off balance when it spins. It still works, just sounds like a swat team trying to break into your house. With a helicopter.

Price is reflecting the likely need for repair here. If you or your dad or your mom or your spouse or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is an appliance repair technician or otherwise inclined in the manner of tools and appliances, this could be an awesome deal. If a repair guy can give it a go for a couple hundo, it’s still a steal!

We paid $650 just a couple weeks ago and the seller did NOT divulge the info I’m sharing with you. I’m not going to be that dirtbag. You’re buying an excellent dryer with a possible Harley Davidson washer. Harley both in the aspect that it’s needing work, and that it’s loud.

You now know what you’re getting. A great deal. Probably. Hopefully. Maybe.

Me? I’m losing $500.

In microcosm, if the season kickoff classics in three Chick-Fil-A games in Atlanta don’t happen on time, there could be a $100 million loss, according to an ESPN report.

The clock is ticking on this season.

And on Matt’s washer/dryer combo.