UNC retracts plan to continue sports less than a week after moving classes to online.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has moved all undergraduate courses to online for the fall semester. The decision comes after the university’s President blamed students for behaving irresponsibly.
“This hard work is being undermined by a very small number of students behaving irresponsibly off campus, which unfairly punishes the vast majority of theory classmates who are following the rules,” President Peter Hans said in a press conference. The University has had a total of 324 cases- 45 employees, 279 students- since testing for COID-19 started at the beginning of the year. Athletic sports were first decided to continue because athletes were isolated from students because of online courses, however after health official advisory the sports are being halted until further notice.
With no cure for COVID-19 professional sports teams have opted for options like isolation for the NBA and splash guard face masks for the NFL. The college commission is currently working with universities and health officials to try and find a way to allow athletes to play.
The BIG 10 and PAC 12 college sports conferences have suspended sports until spring semester when a new decision can be made based on current data of COVID-19 cases. The decision was made to cancel sports and college classes one week after school started.
Upon starting in person courses, UNC reported 135 new cases of COVID-19, bringing their rate of infection to 13.6 percent from the 2.8 percent originally reported the week prior. UNC football head coach referenced the “NBA Bubble” saying for college football to continue the athletes would have to commit to three months of no contact including socializing, eating out and going outside. This is on the heels of major college athletes protesting exploitation of talent through school with no pay, protections and health coverage for athletes.
Major university students have banned together in resistance to playing this year with health concerns due to COVID-19. College football has been at the center of the issue. Student athletes are often exploited for their talent with college football being a multi-billion dollar cash cow and students not benefiting from the money made from using their names and likeness. Students and professional athletes can be seen standing in solidarity under the hashtag #WeAreUnited. It’s expected that the protests have led to the current decisions on paused seasons as universities and students work together to find a solution to bring players back to the field and give them the health and safety coverage they are asking for.
A decision on the fate of the season is expected to be made later today by the University of either canceling the season entirely or pushing it back to spring until further notice.