It is an interesting time of the year, and not just because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic.
Passover began this week, it will be Easter on Sunday, and this weekend also marks the traditional beginning of a new solar-lunar year in many parts of South and Southeast Asia. So, while our celebrations may be more muted than in years past, we’re marking a time of renewal, a chance to turn the page on a dark chapter.
With that in mind, the picture around #COVID19 is also beginning to resolve. It is early yet, we still don’t have the ability to conduct widespread testing, and a vaccine is not imminent. But, as Dr Anthony Fauci noted this week, if our present mitigation strategies continue, Americans may actually get to take summer vacations this year. Of course, any return to normalcy will be gradual and take place incrementally.
What does that mean for sports? Well, who knows. Baseball could come back this summer, with MLB contemplating a May start with all teams playing in Arizona. The NFL is still committed to starting the season on time, and the NFL Draft is going on as scheduled, though without a live audience. The NBA and NHL seasons have been suspended, and neither league has committed to a specific return date.
On the college front, things remain up in the air. With spring sports cancelled, there is a paucity of real news to share, but here’s a smattering of news of interesting, some of it even about Kansas State sports!
— At Wisconsin, athletic director Barry Alvarez says spring student-athletes who lost their season can suck it, basically. That Alvarez is a terrible person is a given, but he might not be alone, as more athletic directors contemplate cuts to programs and budgets.
— So, is college football coming back? Nobody knows for sure, but there is now “strong conviction” the sport will be back in the fall. That’s good news, because the loss of college football would be the equivalent of a nuclear winter for many schools, even some Power 5 schools.
— Mike Gundy thinks college football should come back by May 1, because college football players are among “the herd of healthy people” and the economy needs football. He’s not entirely wrong, but at a time when universities are struggling to deliver academic content to students who cannot be on campus, Gundy came off as extremely tone-deaf (and overtly political). Ultimately, Oklahoma State had to issue a statement reinforcing the school’s commitment to following state and federal guidelines during the pandemic.
— Closer to home, Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor took a more cautious view. While making no statements about sports in the fall, Taylor said his focus is on helping student-athletes remain caught up on academic work and maintaining their mental health during this difficult time.
— Track athlete and Big 12 indoor pentathlon champion Lauren Taubert was having the best season of her entire career when the NCAA cancelled the rest of the spring season. It took her a while to overcome the disappointment, but she now appreciates spending more time with her family while continuing to train. She’ll be back next year thanks to the NCAA eligibility waiver (and because, luckily, she’s not a track athlete at Wisconsin).
— In his weekly Q&A, Kellis Robinett projects Kansas State’s next basketball starting lineup, riffs on the Wildcats’ wide receiver corps, offers his thoughts on the best takeout in Manhattan, and compares Big 12 teams to characters in BoJack Horseman.
BotC Weekend Watch Party
ALERT!! We will be watching Kansas State take on Nebraska in Lincoln in 2003. Sunday at 1 PM CDT. Watch Darren Sproles run all over the Blackshirts and revel in all the LOLWUT Big Red feelings like you know you want to.
Which one of you is writing the next great American novel while stuck at home during a pandemic? Is one of you about to release a chart-topping song, discovering musical talent you barely knew you had? Which of one you has bought all the flour in the store to bake all the bread?
As always, pics or it didn’t happen!
Wash your hands, stay home, stay safe. Happy Passover/Easter/New Year!