Will American Universities — And Their Sports Programs — Go Bankrupt Because Of COVID?

To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been traumatic for most of us would be a massive understatement. The economy is in tatters. Many people have lost their jobs. The government has routinely spent too much time debating how the country would best be served during the pandemic, and too little time actually helping. And over a half-million people are dead — mostly our beloved grandparents.

But American institutions are under tremendous pressure because of the COVID-19 tragedy as well. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses have shuttered their doors forever. College sports programs have been shut down, many never to reopen — and the revenue they generate has vanished as well. Many are asking whether or not our colleges will go bankrupt as a result of this pandemic. And what will happen if they do?

While many fear the closure of colleges will escalate in the next ten to fifteen years, others aren’t nearly as worried. Professors Antony Davies and James Harrigan of the Duquesne University and the University of Arizona, respectively, argue that higher education will only become stronger as a result.

The pair wrote: “Just like any other venture, colleges will go out of business when they become insolvent. There is nothing special about a college in this respect. Since 2016, some 52 colleges and universities have closed their doors or merged with other institutions. With the new reality of COVID-19, this trend will accelerate. Big state schools and those in the Ivy League will come out the other side to be sure. But small liberal arts colleges will not be nearly so fortunate.” 

You can click on https://www.t-plaw.com/ for more information on individual or business-related bankruptcies, which are becoming more common lately — mostly because of the economical impact of COVID.

The professors argue, “But that’s only the beginning of the very bad news for at-risk institutions. The COVID-19 related downturn has caused any number of young people to ask themselves whether they want to go to college at all given the exorbitant costs. For the first time in decades they are asking the right sorts of questions about college. The most important question, of course, is whether college is a good investment.”

To be fair, these questions have been asked on a smaller scale for years as college tuition costs have skyrocketed. There’s no debate on whether or not America needs higher education for its economy to thrive, but not everyone wants to go if it puts them in a financial hole for the rest of their lives. What’s the end result of this quandary? We can expect the arguments on free college for all to become stronger in the coming years — because without skilled workers, America will fall behind the rest of the world. 

The pair of professors believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because colleges that survive the financial crisis will have to focus their efforts on delivering the best education for a lower cost rather than delivering a desired college experience at a higher cost. College sports programs should experience a grace period as a result.

Some Schools Have A Different Strategy For Fixing COVID-19 Financial Woes

The coronavirus pandemic has left us with a changed world — and some are wondering if we’ll ever get back to normal even after the population is immunized and the threat of COVID-19 dies down. With over half a million people dead in the United States alone, it’s a fair question. One of the consequences for schools around the country were deep budget cuts, many of which were applied to sports programs.

After all, isn’t entertainment frivolous spending?

New Jersey Fairleigh Dickinson University officials don’t believe it is. Instead of cutting sports programs, the school’s board has decided to add new ones across the board. There will be a new men’s volleyball team and a women’s lacrosse team. Both of these programs require new leadership positions to be filled. 

The reason is simple: the cancellation of school sports programs resulted in millions of dollars of revenue loss. People pay to watch entertainment, and those dollars are invested into education.

FDU Director of Athletics Brad Hurlbut said, “We were looking at our financials, and like it was for everybody, it was bleak. We needed to come up with a plan to ease those fears that the university had and we had as an athletic department.”

But filled stadiums aren’t the only source of revenue generated by college sports programs. Without those programs, many students won’t have any interest in attending at all — and certainly the scholarship dollars they might bring with them won’t be acquired by the college.

Athletic Director Jason Young paired with an economist to determine the overall benefit of the news sports teams. 

Young said, “I presented back in June to the leadership group of the university. That got some different looks, but it allowed us to peel back the curtain of the financial structure of our athletic department and really start diving in. That was the opening crack for us.”

Why Are Medical Malpractice Claims So Common After Sports Injuries?

Medical malpractice claims are filed for a number of reasons: an injury related to treatment, delayed diagnosis of a dangerous or life-threatening disease, and even clerical errors have been known to result in a lawsuit. But these types of claims are more common when the patient is a prominent sports figure or an up-and-coming athlete in high school or college. Why is that?

The answer is simple: people who have the most to lose have the best reasons to file a lawsuit to recoup damages after medical malpractice.

Consider this: when a high school athlete is on track for a great scholarship for a prestigious school, but a medical mistake costs him the opportunity, what should he do? When a college athlete is on track for placement on a great team, but a medical mistake costs him the opportunity, what should he do? When a professional athlete is on track to make his next millions, but a medical mistake costs him his career, what should he do? Most victims of medical malpractice are left traumatized by the experience, but it can be especially bad if your expected future is undercut in the process.

Young Jarryd was one such athlete whose story followed this path. He came down with Compartment Syndrome. After surgery, most individuals are up and running again within a month. But Jarryd’s surgery didn’t go as planned. When he left the hospital, the pain in his leg intensified. He consulted with his surgeon immediately and was told that the pain was expected. He was told to wrap the area and take anti-inflammatories for swelling and pain — but the pain only got worse.

It was only then that Jarryd was told he had a rare infection. Over the next year, he would undergo at least four surgeries. Jarryd lost a great deal of muscle in his leg as a result.

When Jarryd and his family decided to open a medical malpractice case to investigate the possibility of wrongdoing, the hospital denied fault — but it was later discovered that the surgery had caused trauma to an artery, which led to the pain and swelling. Without relieving the pressure, the end result was nearly guaranteed. The muscle in Jarryd’s leg died.

Malpractice cases are among the most common types of personal injury lawsuits launched in the United States, in part because hospitals have a history of shielding doctors and surgeons with lawyers of their own. It’s a story with two distinct sides. Surgery always has risks, and humans will always make mistakes — especially when their job involves such delicate maneuvering around fragile tissues and organs. But denying the wrongdoing has become far too common. Patients have the right to compensation, especially when their bright futures are squashed as a result.

Had Jarryd’s surgeon accepted the possibility of a mistake earlier, the boy’s muscle might have been saved and he might have been able to have a long, fruitful career. Sadly, that’s not going to happen.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Victorious After Super Bowl LV: What Next for Tom Brady?

Tom Brady won his seventh Lombardi Trophy when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers slaughtered the Kansas City Chiefs 31 to 9 on Super Bowl Sunday. The game was also notable because it made history (or in Brady’s case, cemented it — he now has two more trophies than anyone else). But the Bucs were the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium. What an exciting game!

The 43-year-old Brady was helped out by Todd Bowles’ defense. The iron quarterback made off with 201 yards and an impressive three touchdowns. Brady ties Gronk with 14 postseason scoring connections. 

This was a hotly anticipated game, as Patrick Mahomes was looking to win his own trophy — but the Buccaneers managed to slash their offensive measures to ribbons. Fans were quick to notice that Tampa’s defense was in control of the line of scrimmage during every single quarter of the game. The pressure on Mahomes was intense, and this is where Brady’s experience over his opposition shone through. 

In the 56 games Mahomes has played for the Chiefs, the Bowl was only the second time he was held without a touchdown. We can only imagine the utter humiliation he must feel at being so outclassed at every level. The game also marked the first double-digit loss of his career. Whoops!

It’s worth noting that Tampa’s Week 12 performance against the Chiefs was miserable, which makes this comeback especially impressive. To say that Tampa learned from its mistakes is a massive understatement. 

Other takeaways:

Home stadium advantage is real, and Tampa certainly benefited from it greatly. The game coordinators showed their top-notch capacity for decision-making as well. Tampa’s defense allowed Brady to work his magic basically unchecked, which pretty much ended the game for the Chiefs.

When Will Major League Baseball Begin In 2021?

Football season is over! While most red-blooded Americans are standing around in a crazed stupor wondering how and why they’ll have to wait until this fall for the next season to begin, the rest of us are left yearning for America’s true sport — baseball. The MLB recently announced the season schedule. Much to everyone’s surprise, it marked the fourth season in a row where all 30 clubs will play on Opening Day (which has been scheduled on April 1st in a perhaps tactically erroneous move). 

April 1st might mark the first time all Major play their first game on the same day since the 1968 season.

Nowhere are fans more excited than in NYC. Spring training for the Mets and Yankees will begin on March 1st at 1:05 PM, providing them with a full month to gear up for the season. 

The major TV networks are gearing up as well. ESPN is preparing to offer coverage on Opening Day, noting that George Springer will be watched by fans as he plays his first game as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays (which will be battling the New York Yankees. Fox will chime in on April 3rd to mark another occasion: The Philadelphia Phillies will be hosting the Atlanta Braves. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the schedule for season-long updates.

Curious about new safety protocols implemented in the wake of the somewhat awkward 2020 season? Vaccine distribution won’t be in full swing until later this summer, so we can expect fan activity at stadiums to be diminished from the norm. 

Games will feature a bit of oversight from the COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee made up of at least one MLB operative, one MLBPA operative, and two physicians. They will ensure that health and safety protocols are implemented uniformly and that no local, state, or federal COVID-19 regulations are broken during the season.

Each of the MLB’s Clubs shall also present a written COVID-19 plan before consulting with government authorities and staff on site. This plan must then be approved by the aforementioned committee. The Clubs must also appoint two separate positions for the duration of the season: one Infection Control Prevention Coordinator and one Compliance Officer with relevant seniority. Those who take the positions will ensure that protocols in the Operations Manual are followed to the letter. 

Non-compliant teams will be sanctioned.

Players will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing before reporting for training in addition to taking a five-day quarantine at home. They must continue to quarantine until the results of testing are made available. PCR testing will also be required throughout the season, which will be conducted by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory using saliva collection kits. Players will be tested every other day during training, the season, and the postseason where applicable. 

Those who show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 will be removed from the roster immediately.

Super Bowl LV: Tampa Bay Buccaneers VS Kansas City Chiefs

This football season has been surreal, if nothing else. Social distancing guidelines have forced even the most hardcore fans to watch games from home — and even then, it’s impossible not to notice the difference. The crowds, the noise, even the games themselves simply were not the same. Super Bowl LV will be a hard-fought battle between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It will be completely different from anything that came before.

Will fans still have the opportunity to answer questions and make predictions prior to the game? Sure. But instead of doing it in person from a roaring stadium, it will be done from the comfort of one’s own home through Zoom. If you’re a fan of Tampa Bay, check out the media on Monday. Kansas will do their own on Tuesday.

You can tune into CBS Sports HQ from Tampa during work week hours every day from Monday, February 1 until Thursday, February 4.

Odds seem to be on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the trophy this year. The game itself will take place on February 7 at 6:30 PM after the Chiefs are flown in the night before to keep testing guidelines true and reduce the chance of coronavirus infection or spread.

7,500 tickets will be offered to vaccinated healthcare workers, which allows only 14,500 tickets to other fans. COVID-19 has placed strain on the numbers that a stadium can safely hold, but also caused fan interest to skyrocket. After all, no one has been out of the house for this type of recreation in a long time.

There’s a reason that so many people are excited for this season’s game. Tom Brady won the Super Bowl for two consecutive seasons nearly two decades ago, while Mahomes won the Bowl last year — and will want to accomplish the same feat this season.

Remembering One Of The Biggest Scandals In College Football

Way back in 2011 one such scandal emerged, evoking shocked groans from every corner of the football universe. Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team was indicted suddenly for a whopping 52 counts of child molestation, all of which occurred between 1994 and 2009 — only two years before the charges were made. He was convicted on 45 of those counts only one year later. He is currently serving a 30-year-sentence.

While these allegations of abuse were nothing compared to scandals like those that emerged from the catholic church or boy scout abuse by scout leaders, it still helped raise awareness about who we place trust in — especially when it comes to children and young adults, who may not know what to do or who to turn to in such cases.

What was worse than the abuse itself was the fact that at least three other people were eventually charged with trying to cover it up. School President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley were all charged with failure to report the abuse, obstruction of justice, and perjury for lying under oath. Another investigation into these counts of wrongdoing was commissioned by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

 

It was this investigation that helped uncover the fact that the aforementioned individuals — along with head coach Joe Paterno — had already been made aware of several allegations leveled against Sandusky as far back as 1998. According to the report, all of these individuals had completely ignored the allegations and failed to disclose any related information to the public. All related contracts with these men were terminated by the Board of Trustees.

 

The conduct resulted in sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The school was fined $60 million, all of its football victories from the years during which the abuse occurred were vacated, and the postseason was banned for 4 years. In addition, scholarships awarded to the school were reduced.

 

NCAA President Mark Emmert commented at the time that the sanctions were “not…just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”

 

The allegations against Sandusky only came to light after then Freshman Aaron Fisher (“Victim 1” reported molestation that had been occurring for several years. Then graduate assistance and assistant coach at Penn State Mike McQueary testified during the trial that he had caught Sandusky with a boy in the showers in an obviously sexual position on approximately February 9, 2001, and that he had reported this event to school officials (who would go on to deny that they heard those exact details).

 

One man, a former Penn State janitor, was not able to testify about a separate incident that he witnessed because he was diagnosed with dementia before the trial began. Other boys testified about many incidents, varying in sexual nature — but all illegal. 

USC Football Player Has Coronavirus

The University of Southern California (USC) might have to put its football season on hold after a player on its team tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, November 23. Certainly, the remaining players will be tested before any final decisions are made. This infection is the team’s first. The Trojans only recently returned from Salt Lake City after overcoming the Utah Utes this past Saturday night. Their season stats are now at 3-0.

The infected player has symptoms but has been placed in quarantine away from other members of the team.

USC football tweeted a statement this morning: 

“We were informed last night that a single football player tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Nov. 23. That individual had traveled with us to Utah for Saturday’s football game, and he had tested negative three times within 36 hours of travel and again on game day. All other test results on Monday were negative, and the individual was not present in the facilities or at practice on Sunday or Monday. The individual is symptomatic and has been quarantined. USC Student Health, Utah Athletics and the Pac-12 have been notified; the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be notified today. When more information is available, including  additional test results, contact tracing and public health guidance, we will provide it.”

The player was not present for practice yesterday or today. He will be asked to quarantine for at least two weeks, test negative, and then may return to the roster.

Players must test negative for COVID-19 on game days. They are also tested several times before travel to ensure that no tests provide false negative results.

Health officials expect coronavirus cases to multiply rapidly over the next few months due to the holiday season. Teams anticipate a heightened probability of new infections during this time.

What Was Different About Major League Baseball This Season?

The MLB has been hit hard by COVID-19. Some of the changes made this season occurred behind the scenes, but hardcore fans noticed almost everything. Not everyone was happy with the way this season ended. That seems obvious enough from the criticisms, which were harsh even in Tampa where the World Series finale match was played. Critics wonder if fans will bother to tune in if the MLB faces similar problems next year.

Many fans believe the increasing use of analytics to determine the future of the MLB series isn’t doing the game any good. And even the Chicago Tribune likened the end of the season to “baseball’s version of ‘Dumb and Dumber.’”

There was especially distaste for Dodgers player Justin Turner, who celebrated with his fellow players after they won the series — despite having tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dodgers President Andrew Friedman said of the decision: “For him, being a free agent, not knowing exactly how the future is going to play out, I don’t think anyone was going to stop him. From my perspective, I think he was mindful of other people. This is something we’re going to wrap our arms around tonight and in the morning and figure out where we’re going from here.”

The MLB called out the behavior as unacceptable to the standards it represents, especially when considering how the entire season played out due to coronavirus restrictions.

A statement read: “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

It was even more concerning after the MLB did so well in maintaining those coronavirus standards throughout the series. They made it through the entire season without a single case of coronavirus infection due to players. 

The MLB will now investigate Turner for his violation of mandated protocols, even after he was warned. What will happen to him in the future is anyone’s guess, but it might be possible that we see him banned from the major leagues.

The Tribune commented on the MLB and baseball as a whole in the current era, discussing the possibility that there isn’t a single all-star player worth watching — or rather, one who forces us to watch. Players like Tom Brady or Kevin Durant don’t have equals in baseball. While there will always be Hall of Famers, their popularity will never rise to the heights obtainable in other sports.

The trusted news source also suggested that the influx of new rule changes could be doing irreparable damage to the game. One example is when home-plate colliding was banned all the way back in 2014. There is also now a universal designated hitter, which is blamed for increasing the strikeout percentage nearly 10 points in the last decade, from 16.4 percent to 23.4 percent. Is anyone interested in watched one in four balls fail to connect?

High School Sports Seasons Delayed Or Canceled Because Of Coronavirus

Sports seasons around the world have been delayed or cancelled — or, in some cases, completely transformed — thanks to the coronavirus pandemic still raging. The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in many countries around the world, but life goes on. Here in the United States, this is apparent in the way high schools have approached programs beloved by the majority of their student bodies. 

For example, in North Olmsted, Ohio, the North Olmsted City School District recently decided to cancel their high school football season after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Contact tracing protocols were immediately put into place, and another nine students were found to be infected. Two staff members tested positive as well.

Quarantines in Alaska have resulted after many patrons of a hockey game tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak occurred in part because Anchorage is experiencing a surge in cases. In only a three-day period, at least 300 students and staff tested positive in the areas surrounding Anchorage, Chugiak, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Kenai, Juneau, Palmer, Soldotna, and Wasilla.

College football hasn’t faired much better. Dozens of games were canceled or postponed by the end of October, not even ten weeks into the football season. Daily testing will be conducted by the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 in order to dutifully set new dates for postponed seasons while they decide whether or not additional cancellations are recommended. Postponements have already occurred at Houston, Baylor, Memphis, Virginia Tech, and more.

Schools and colleges around the country have transitioned to online learning for many classes, and some have canceled or postponed on-site residency — which makes it all the more difficult to implement popular sports programs. Many students — and college officials — have failed to take coronavirus seriously, resulting in additional obstacles. What members of faculty will decide to do in the future is anyone’s guess.