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Jim Sterk and the SEC have got a lot of contingency plans.. but will anything work?

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Mizzou News for Friday, July 3

So many contingency plans.

First off, Nate basically stole my headline in his piece Thursday. I, too, was going to say something about dominoes, but now I can’t. Headline thief. Moving on...

Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk spoke with the media via Zoom on Thursday afternoon, and it was both informative and unnerving (for me, at least). According to Dave Matter’s recap in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the biweekly SEC calls between the league leaders and ADs have contained some discussion about cancelling non-con games, but “we’re not there yet,” Sterk said.

I’m sorry, but how AREN’T we there yet? I really think we’re just fooling ourselves if we think the recent Ivy and B1G decisions won’t just be the beginning of a massive onslaught of similar announcements that will eventually make their way to the grand Southeastern Conference, the mightiest conference in all the land (was that a bit much? sorry). Has anyone noticed the rising COVID numbers in SEC states like Alabama? Georgia? Louisiana? Tennessee? South Carolina? FLORIDA (sorry, mom & dad)? Looking at the most recent numbers on the reported positive tests from Wednesday, those 6 states alone had anywhere from an additional 1100-9,900(!!!) positive tests. COVID — pardon my terrible grammar for a sec— AIN’T GOING NOWHERE.

So personally, no, I don’t know if I see how keeping the schedule as is is going to work.

I don’t honestly know if I can see football being played at all. An NFL story came out Thursday said that they were banning jersey switching and postgame interactions with players of other teams less than 6 feet apart, like that will just magically solve the problem. That is almost comical, though not altogether unsurprising coming from that league. And as it has also been pointed out, what about offensive and defensive lineman? There’s no way they aren’t transferring droplets from their own bodies to others and vice versa. It’s a contact sport, for God’s sakes. Did the rules of football suddenly change? Are we transitioning to college-level flag football?

And as Nate said in his piece, the dominoes are starting to fall. Not long after the Big 10 made their announcement on Thursday, there were rumblings of the PAC-12 following suit. So who’s next?

It IS great to know, and Matter’s article pointed it out, that no positive tests came from Mizzou’s athletic facilities. Their cleaning practices and social distancing protocol ARE working, and that’s great. But, that means those testing positive are getting it from going other places and being around other people — in bars, at restaurants, attending parties — who have COVID, and that’s... not great. It’s not like we can keep student-athletes in a bubble like the NBA or lock ‘em in their rooms or have them be chaperoned 24 hours a day, though. I mean, they are UNPAID athletes and college kids who will, sadly, do what they want regardless of what is strongly suggested that they do by their “elders” (coaches, upperclassmen, parents, etc).

As for good news, it appears that as of now, all Mizzou sports are safe. That, of course, can not be said of other schools like Stanford (<— link to excellent story by Pat Forde) and now, Dartmouth, who announced that they are cutting their swimming & diving programs on Thursday, among other sports like rowing. My dad reminded me (they lived in MA for a while), that rowing is HUGE in the northeast, especially at an Ivy, so cutting that is just... wild. It’s wild times, y’all.

Anyway, on to the links. Sorry (but not really sorry) about my anger regarding this. I wish SO BADLY that I had more optimism about college football season (and sports occurring in general), but I do not. Not at all.

Happy Friday? Yeah, HAPPY FRIDAY!!


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