In a decision yesterday that stunned everyone except those familiar with the organization, the NCAA announced that “nothing, not even COVID carnage, will stop the College Football Playoff from being held on December 31st and January 10th.”
According to NCAA President Mark Emmert, “there is simply too much TV money tied up in the Playoff to allow our fear of COVID to cancel it. We’ve made a commitment to ESPN, and we’re going to honor it.
“In World War II, we knew that our nation’s young men would be at risk when we sent them overseas to do battle. But we did it anyway, because the future of the free world was at stake. The same goes for the College Football Playoff. I think all Americans would agree that a world without a National Champion that is determined on the gridiron is not a world worth living in. The ‘Greatest Generation’ in the United States stepped up to the plate 70 years ago, and now a new generation — this time, of student-athlete gladiators — is being asked to take their place.
“Some of them may fall to the virus as they serve our country, but they will fall in glory. I’m proud to announce that any player who succumbs to COVID during the Playoff — or within two weeks following the National Championship game — will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, as a result of an agreement reached last night between the NCAA, ESPN, and the U. S. Department of the Army.
“When high-revenue college sports and a pandemic collide, they bring out the best in all of us.”