As countries around the world are starting to get many sporting events back on track, many eyes have turned to the US and what can be expected from the big names in US sport. Fans had recently been met with the good news that the NBA, MLB, and NHL would all see a return toward the end of July. The start of August and it appeared some signs were starting to look up, but it hasn’t been good news for all as the country continues to struggle in its battle with the coronavirus. That has meant a lengthy spell in lockdown for the majority and a need for online entertainment, with these events continuing to be cancelled. That has seen a surge in the numbers moving online, with many looking at 2020’s best games approved by top players. That covered a host of international online casinos, with people playing from all areas of the world, and picking up the different offers available. That trend has now continued, despite improvements now being made. However, the latest casualty may in fact be the NFL – although the season isn’t due to start until September, a recent announcement was made stating that 72 NFL players had recently tested positive for the virus, bringing concerns around whether or not the September date laid out would still be possible if more players were to test the same.
The other recent concern has come for college sporting events as the argument around whether or not college athletes should be allowed to compete again this year despite the ongoing pandemic – for many, colleges and universities are still closed or running at a very reduced capacity in some cases, and with further plans to shift many online university courses to online only from next year there’s still a further possibility that college athletes may experience a little more downtime – but some of the news that’s coming out does seem a little mixed.
University of Texas – On July 20th, the University of Texas set out a statement suggesting that they anticipate the ability to hold football games this season at a 50% capacity – the Royal Memorial Stadium holds around 100,000, so even at 50% that’s a huge crowd in a confined space at a time where the rest of the world has only just begun to consider having fans back in attendance – this does aim for the football season starting in September, which is still looking questionable at best.
PAC-12 Delays – To further sow the seeds of doubt for college football in particular despite the University of Texas relaying a positive message, the media days event scheduled for the end of July was moved to a yet to be determined date, at the same time news of a potential player boycott if certain measures weren’t met has also begun to spread within the PAC-12 with better COVID-19 testing being perhaps the most obvious priority in the list of demands.
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Two have already fallen – Amongst all of this news too, there have been two conferences that have found either cancellations or postponements. The Colonial Athletic Association had announced that it would cancel its current season and allow the teams to pursue independent schedules if they wish, similarly the A-10 season had also been postponed throughout fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, although there has been no news on what may happen to the winter sports.
If the challenges that are still facing the bigger sporting organizations are still to be overcome, there’s the ongoing very real possibility that college sports won’t return until the pandemic has come under control, there are of course state restrictions to take into consideration too as if college sports do get underway again there may be some teams from certain states that may be unable to play against other teams because of the coronavirus measures that are put in place.
Fortunately there are alternatives for college sports fans, as major sporting events are happening around the world there are other options for live sporting events, but there has also been a huge surge in alternative methods of entertainment particularly in mobile gambling – as sports have returned the punters have managed to start betting again after many being cancelled and postponed in late March, similarly this has led to a surge of players turning to online casinos where 2020’s best games approved by top players have started to become more popular as more players have been attracted to playing them during the pandemic – although college sports may not be able to scratch the itch, at least other forms of entertainment have went undisturbed during this period of time.
There will be many eyes turning to the individual states and universities over the next few weeks – with the previously mentioned state specific restrictions and different rules alongside the potential that many colleges may shift to online learning in the future could see a further delay in the longer term – for the college athletes there have been some securities announced to ensure their scholarships stay protected, but an extended period of time without competition could be detrimental heading into the new year – without any of that in mind however the pandemic needs to be managed before anything else is pressed forward.