COVID has radically changed the way that people live their lives. Now everyone is a possible enemy who could be harboring the illness of COVID. As the world begins to come back to the reality that the virus is here and we will have to live with it, changes are being made. Schools are moving to online instruction, stores and restaurants are doing contactless delivery and college sports are changing too. “Former App State Coaches, Players Come to Terms with the Cutting of Their Programs” by Ethan Joyce, points out how Appalachian State University has cut three-sport programs due to COVID. The three sports are men’s soccer, men’s’ indoor track, and men’s tennis. These cutting of these sports have nothing to do with the safety of the players, coaches, refs, or fans. No, it has to do with the money that sports bring or don’t bring in. Andrew McGregor wrote “Covid-19 Presents an Ideal Time to Rethink College Sports,” and asks the question of why the safety of those involved is not the first questions asked. Due to the financial difficulties that many are experiencing due COVID are leading universities to rethink how much they allocate to sports. This shows that McGregor’s point is a true question. What are universities going to do to continue to protect their athletes or are they more worried about money?
Sadly the cutting of the men’s soccer program at Appalachian State hurts many more than the current team, for example, those who know the history of the soccer program. Jesse Wood wrote, “App State’s Rich Soccer Tradition…Was the Golden Era Pushed to the Wayside?” Wood mentions how in the 70s and 80s App State won eleven conference championships in a row. Wood reveals that the soccer program also had ample amounts of money to spend on scholarships for both in-state and out-of-state athletes. This allowed for greater success and recruitment and helped them win those eleven championships. In other words, the program was thriving and being recognized on the national level. However, as the years went on, the program received less money and the football team and others gained more. This leads to a lower amount of money available for scholarships and less recruitment. Now that COVID has hit and money is becoming even tighter for many universities, it is becoming easier to simply take from lower-income sports and shift them to sports like football and basketball. As McGregor points out, recent events in the NCAA have allowed for athletes to gain more rights and a louder voice to protest their safety and wellbeing. Hopefully, this COVID virus will be like an ice bath for universities and others about the importance of putting the individual players first and not the dollar amount associated with the sport. Although it is sad to see three programs cut at App State, there is always that as the nation comes back from COVID that the programs could be renewed. However, the question still remains, if the programs are brought back, will it be for the amount of money the university can pull in, or the enjoyment of those how play and watch?