Even when considering the weight of a global pandemic, did the Pac-12 schools take the easy way out for the 2020 season? Was the fear of lawsuits just too much for the brave leaders of the Pac-12 to deal with?
Yes, I’m talking to you Larry Scott.
With the advantage of a little hindsight, you have to ask yourself what could have been if the Pac-12 schools didn’t “rush to judgement” on shutting down the 2020 fall football season. Other eastern conferences were able to patiently wait for an opening and jump on it, each as best they could. Other conferences are playing fall football in 2020 and surviving, making money and keeping the fans happy along the way.
Sure, it isn’t the perfect college football experience we are all used to, but with the help of ESPN, its going down as a success. The Pac-12 leadership, on the other hand, is a dismal sight, cowering down in the corner holding up their signs saying, “Please don’t sue us!”
Yes, the players and fans are well protected, but at what cost? Has future recruiting been “dinged” to the point that many future western recruits will be flocking to the east because they’re not afraid to play football back there? Has the Pac-12’s fear of playing football in 2020 hurt Oregon’s national recruiting image?
Oregon has utilized a lucrative national presence to its overwhelming advantage for the past decade, but the moment you cower down and take a season off as the other conferences find a way to play their favored sport, that presence could diminish greatly. Are the Oregon Ducks going to be known as the “scared” Ducks after 2020?
Oregon will pay for what the leaders of the Pac-12 did in 2020. Football always has and always will be fraught with dangers. Life threatening and life lingering dangers, but we don’t stop playing because of it. Players and fans alike have accepted this as the cost of playing football.
Why should the pandemic be any different?
Research to decrease these dangers is continuously improving, but the threats still remain to this day. Sometimes when a new monkey wrench is thrown into the mix our leaders just have to be brave and find a way. When you’re paid over 5 million dollars a year, it’s your job to find a way and not run from your responsibility, too scared to do anything but run.
What do you think?
Will the Pac-12 leadership’s fearful decisions for the 2020 football season have an immediate and long-lasting impact on the Ducks image and national presence, or will this season be quickly swept under the rug as a throwaway year while the team and fan base collectively move on?
San Diego, CA
Top Photo By: Kevin Cline
Chris Brouilette, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a current student at the University of Oregon from Sterling, Illinois.
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