Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Wisconsin Badgers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
While the current landscape of college athletics is changing more than any time before it, fans don’t think those changes are going to last.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, conferences across the country have made their own decisions on the 2020 football season, taking the NCAA out of the equation entirely. This has caused conversations about a possible Power 5 conference break from the NCAA, meaning the Big Ten and the Wisconsin Badgers could separate from the entity entirely.
However, according to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, a slight majority of fans don’t think this is the breaking point.
Across the survey fans appear to treat 2020 like an anomaly and not allow this year to change anything going forward. Even if that means missing out on large chunks of games played. This is an interesting result, as I personally believe that this could be true and I thought that would be the majority. Programs, athletic departments, coaches, and players are all starting to take note of the lack of leadership by the NCAA, and I believe they are starting to realize how much more the NCAA needs them than vice versa.
Almost two-thirds of fans said it’s not worth playing football games in the spring, a plan floated by some in order to have games played by all schools during the current academic year, if next season’s games are affected.
While the majority of people are ready to move on from 2020, football season included, I think you have to take into account more than just a clean slate for football in 2021. The reality is that we have no guarantee that this pandemic will be done by then, and finding a way to play in 2020 is something many players in the country are owed and would appreciate. For the Badgers, star players like Jack Coan, Eric Burrell and Cole Van Lanen all have decisions to make and they cannot do it until the Big Ten and college football comes to an ultimate decision.
For now, all focus in the college athletics world is on the football season. But it won’t take long for the basketball season to come back around. The end of one season has already been lost, so it would stand to reason that league officials may try to find a way to protect against further cancellations. In fact, four dates have already been discussed as a start date for the hoops season.
Fans, however, don’t expect that fix to be at a bubble. Only 39 percent of fans think there will be any kind of a bubble for the NCAA basketball season. That seems to be a fair assessment as a bubble would require the NCAA to acknowledge that student-athletes are more than just student-athletes which in turn opens up a can of worms that NCAA directors likely want to avoid, such as fairly compensating players for their time and efforts. Ya know, that whole debate?
The good thing is that is sounds like those at the top of college basketball are at least having conversations well ahead of time, hopefully to come up with a plan to plan the college basketball season before only a few weeks out. College football heads should take note, or maybe it’s more so that they are learning from the blunders that has been the Big Ten and others over the past few weeks.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.