College football should be played

When we lived in Broken Bow, Neb., for 10 years it coincided with the last years of coaching for legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, who won three national championships. Naturally, we became avid Husker football fans and managed to attend a game or two every year in Lincoln. 
“There’s no place like Nebraska” as the home game day slogan goes at Memorial Stadium which has recorded an NCCA record of 375 consecutive sellouts in the Sea of Red dating back to 1962. Players, coaches and fans were looking forward to turning the corner this year, the third year of head coach Scott Frost in Lincoln. Anticipation and hopes were high for a winning season and a bowl game.
Last Monday Frost held an unusual press conference in Lincoln where he laid out all the reasons that college football should proceed with its scaled-down schedule for 2020, which did not include any non-conference games for the first time ever.
He and other Big 10 Conference coaches had gotten wind that the powers-to-be were taking a vote on whether to have a season or not because of the COVID-19 virus. Nebraska was united from the top on down, from the college president and chancellor to the coaches, players and parents, that it wanted to play football this fall.
Frost explained how players have been working hard in the weight room and on the practice field in anticipation of the upcoming season. The safety of the players was of utmost concern to all and he was confident they would be in the safest place in the football program where they would be monitored and tested regularly to ensure their good health.
Cancelling the season and turning them loose now would be the worst possible thing that could happen to them, the coach said. They would have to go home and be exposed to all kinds of virus sources. If they did come down with the virus, they and their families would be faced with paying possible hefty healthcare bills. The message was clear. Nebraska coaches and staff would take good care of them and see that they were well monitored and tested.
Other Big 10 coaches and staffs said the same thing about their players, but Frost was severely criticized by the likes of ESPN commentators who accused him of “whining” about the situation. Far from it. Frost was merely sticking up for his players, university and state when he said everyone was prepared to play their scheduled games and play them safely. After all, isn’t that what a good head coach is supposed to do?
It should be noted that other college football conferences and the National Football League are all going ahead with their seasons this year, so you have to ask yourself what is different about the Big 10 football conference?
Player-parent groups at Nebraska and three other Big 10 colleges have sent letters to first-year Big 10 conference commissioner Kevin Warren asking for a reversal of the fall sports cancellations and transparency into how this decision was made. The conference chief medical officer said there is a small chance the fall sports seasons can proceed.
We can only hope that this will still happen.

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