Relevant article in this morning’s paper:
Money is going to win until the outcry gets too loud, imo.
I'm not sure what campuses the article is addressing. UT- Knoxville is a huge football campus. Stadium holds about 100,000 and it's a big deal in town. So far the plan is to have football, but the campus is open and there are online and in person classes. UT tells us that about half of classes are in person or hybrid (online and in person), the rest all online, but I suspect they're counting a 10 person lab as 1 class, and a 400 person intro lecture as one class, which is 50-50 if we're counting classes
but 2.5% and 97.5% online if we're talking students
. Campus is deserted in the first week, and it's usually a mass of humanity as everyone is going to class, getting books, etc.
At any rate, there's nothing special being done for football, and I've heard nothing about closing classes, or doing anything else, to make it safe for athletes. There's a lot of faculty who are pretty 'hostile' (not quite the word I'm looking for) towards football, because there is nothing spared for them, but other parts of the university are chronically underfunded, and the huge influence football donors have in other areas, but I've heard not a peep from that contingent about the football dog wagging the university tail, and I think I would. I know a lot of people who work at UT on the academic side.
The discussions for months
have been how to protect 1) students, and 2) faculty and staff, and so big classes all went online, then the smaller ones depend on the instructor, the classroom, number of students, etc. It's all been big picture, campus wide stuff. The big issue, frankly, is the trustees, Gov and legislature are pushing HARD for in person instruction, which is opposite of the article's premise, which is campuses will close to in person instruction to protect football players and keep games on schedule. The pressure just is not
in that direction at UTK.
So, not calling the editorial fake news, but it would be good to point to actual examples of some kind of abuse, where the university, run by academics, is planning around the football programs. I suspect if there's an issue, it's at the very top - governors, board of trustees, etc. who are appointed by the governor or legislature. I think the college administrators all want to open and have in person classes, but are planning as best they can for the pandemic...
What I do think will happen is the players with help from the athletic advisors will try to take as many online-only classes as they can, to limit exposure. But that's what a lot of students who aren't athletes will do. It's not an issue IMO. And the big problems we've seen with COVID are big off campus parties, that have nothing to do with classes. THAT's going to be where spread happens - we've seen it already.