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 #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, a SHAPE America board member, former national physical education teacher of the year, and one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Episode #2 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: College & High School Athletics: Where Do We Go From Here? The guest is John Gerdy, a former college athlete and NCAA and SEC administrator who became a sports reformer later in his career.
Episode #1: The inaugural episode of League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast. The topic is Title IX and equal opportunity in sports. The guest is long-time Title IX and civil rights activist Donna Lopiano.
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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