There are undoubtedly some parents of college athletes who share Charles Barkley’s view about college sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Barkley appeared on CNN Wednesday night and said that if he had kids that played college sports he wouldn’t want them to play until more was known about the coronavirus. Barkley’s comments came on the same day the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow schools to start holding voluntary football and basketball workouts on June 1. The council’s decision paves the way for conferences to lift their in-person athletic activity moratoriums at the end of the month and let players return to campuses for team activities.
Charles Barkley: It’s not safe for the NCAA to go through with plans to permit Division I football and basketball to resume voluntary athletics activities
“I would not want my kid, [to play] until we know more about what can happen…but listen, money is going to run this thing” pic.twitter.com/ACgFdfLvMU
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) May 21, 2020
“I don’t think it’s safe, number one, but those are the two money-making sports,” Barkley accurately noted.
He then said how he wouldn’t want his kid playing sports until a treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus was closer to being a reality.
“I would not want my kid — until we know more about what can happen — we need to wait until we’re closer to a treatment or a vaccine. But listen, money is going to run this thing and that’s really unfortunate.”
Schools’ athletic departments are sustained by the money that football and basketball bring in through television contracts and ticket sales. And schools are feeling even more pressure to have a 2020 football season and reap any revenue that could come from it because of the cancelation of the 2020 NCAA tournaments. The tournaments’ cancelation reduced an expected $600 million payout from the NCAA to member schools all the way down to $225 million.
If football doesn’t happen, jobs will be lost at schools and sports and other expenses will get cut. That’s simply the reality of the brutal situation and why so many college sports leaders have expressed optimism about playing football in 2020. Without football, schools will have little to no revenue for their athletic departments.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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