By Ken Reed
I have witnessed a lot of irresponsible behavior in SportsWorld during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the actions of the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee take the cake for the most unnecessary, irresponsible behavior during the pandemic.
The CFP committee, led by executive director Bill Hancock, insists on meeting in person for the next five weeks during a raging pandemic. The committee members, which include several college athletic directors, fly in from all over the country to meet for 12-14 hours over two days, in a hotel meeting room.
All this risky behavior to come up with a Top 25 list?
It’s important to note that these rankings are meaningless until the final one, which sets the postseason matchups at the FBS level.
These weekly meetings could easily be conducted over Zoom, but Hancock argues that would simply be unbearable.
“The most robust conversation we all have is face to face. Our meeting runs 7 to 8 hours on Monday and 3 to 4 more hours on Tuesday. Anyone who has done a Zoom meeting knows it’s fine for an hour, but not a 12-hour meeting,” said Hancock, regarding the need for the committee to meet in person.
Remember, these face-to-face meetings are taking place at a time when the CDC is discouraging travel. Positive Covid cases and hospitalizations are spiking across the country.
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.
Instead of supporting these CFP boondoggles, the ADs on the committee should be setting a good example for their universities by refusing to travel for this completely unnecessary exercise.
Now, given that the last rankings are the only ones that matter for establishing college football’s postseason lineup, an argument can be made that it would be beneficial for committee members to hash out their final Top 25 list in person. But at the very least, the next three in-person weekly meetings should be cancelled and re-scheduled as Zoom meetings.
That’s the type of decision that responsible executives in other industries across the country are making. College athletics administrators should be doing the same.
Really, is it too much to ask that the leaders in college sports act in a responsible, safe manner?
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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