On September 16, The Big Ten conference announced the reversal of the decision to postpone fall sports and will resume football the week of Oct. 23rd. On that same day, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced elementary and high school football teams will still not return for the fall. With football being a contact sport, the risk of spreading COVID-19 is very high. There are hopes for Illinois high school football to return in the spring but as of now, there are not enough resources to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and local authorities’ guidelines.
Last month Josh Rosen, a junior at UCLA who plays quarterback, was quoted by a national sports news website saying, “Football and school don’t go together.” Within hours UCLA’s coach and Stanford’s coach each tried to paint the young man as unenlightened.
Research shows that Rosen is more correct than the coaches admit, but that’s only part of the story. What’s news is that a twenty-year-old—not a university trustee or president, not a U. S. District Court judge or an antitrust lawyer—put his finger on a regulatory reality that higher education may not be able to ignore for much longer.