Steve Gardner, USA TODAY
Published 12:53 p.m. ET Aug. 10, 2020 | Updated 2:26 p.m. ET Aug. 10, 2020
What I’m Hearing: Dan Wolken details his conversations with university administrators and their fears about putting on a college football season during a pandemic. It’s one of the many reasons for its potential postponement.
With the Mid-American Conference canceling its football season this fall and Big Ten presidents voting against playing in the fall, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is still hopeful that other Power Five conferences will be able to play.
“The Big Ten college presidents may have a little different sense of this. I think the Southeastern Conference, ACC, most of those institutions want to play because I think they see how important it is for the well-being of their student-athletes,” DeSantis said Monday on Fox Sports Radio. “I’m 100 percent in favor of it.”
Speaking with host Clay Travis, DeSantis endorsed the #WeWantToPlay movement, championed by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, which calls for the major conferences to take steps to ensure games can be played this fall.
“You don’t go by what the Big 10 does. You gotta do what’s right for your institutions, and I think here, the safest thing is to play, because I think this is the best environment for our student-athletes.”
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) August 10, 2020
DeSantis said many student-athletes are safer on campus and in the structured environment that football provides than they would be otherwise in regard to coronavirus.
“Very few of the folks in that cohort are becoming seriously ill,” he said. “Just because you test positive, most of these athletes really never actually end up getting ill.”
However, the long-term effects of the novel coronavirus are not fully known. A recent study found about a quarter of young adults were still not back to their normal health weeks after contracting the infection.
DeSantis said he not only wants to see football played on college campuses this fall, but at high schools across Florida as well.
“Keeping kids out of school and denying them the ability, those who want to to play sports, those are going to have long-term ramifications,” he said. “You’ll be dealing with problems I think for society for years and years to come.”
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He said he plans to go to a lot of high school games this fall to show his support. Noting that Florida has already conducted a NASCAR race with limited fans in the stands, as well as hosting the NBA’s bubble, DeSantis said the return of sports is important for the country as a whole in getting back to normal.
“You see everybody else is playing — the NBA, Major League Baseball … the PGA (Tour) … soccer is playing — there’s no reason we can’t play high school and college athletics,” he said. “It’s very, very important.”