Both college football and the NFL are currently prepared to move forward with their fall seasons, despite the ongoing public health crisis. Dr. Anthony Fauci has called into question whether that will be possible.
The NBA is pushing towards a July restart effectively in a “bubble” down at Disney property in Orlando. With 22 teams and fewer than 20 players on each, with support staff and others, the number of people in Orlando is large but manageable. Football presents much bigger problems.
Right now, the NFL and college football are set to play out schedules at home stadiums, whether or not fans can attend. Dr. Fauci says he thinks the NBA approach can work, but he has significant questions about how football will get underway.
“Unless players are essentially in a bubble, insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day, it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Dr. Fauci said during a CNN appearance with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
“If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year,” Dr. Fauci added.
A second wave would definitely be a complicating factor, considering the first wave hasn’t really ended. While cases have been on a decline nationally, that is most due to a dip in the places where the virus was bad from the start, like New York.
At the same time, 22 states are currently peaking, including some major football hotbeds like Florida, South Carolina, and Texas after early reopening. The first wave in the country hasn’t ended, it has just started to hit new areas hard in recent weeks.
It would be nearly impossible for college football to implement some kind of bubble, and with the sheer size of NFL teams, and all 32 teams involved, it is unclear whether an NBA-style plan could work for the league. Football is definitely not out of the woods yet.