College Football Chaos; Stanford Sports Stars Slam Cuts; Biggest Loser Continues to Cry

Each week the numbers get larger. Two weeks ago, 10 college football games were cancelled due to COVID. Last week, 15. Then, over the weekend, the number jumped to 18, representing 30% of the games scheduled.


Included were Stanford vs. Washington State, cancelled the day before it was supposed to be played, and Clemson-Florida State, the first game cancelled on game day.


Clemson-FSU was cancelled after a Clemson backup offensive lineman tested positive Friday night and showed symptoms. He was sent home and the rest of the offensive line tested negative. Clemson still wanted to play, but FSU refused.


There was lots of acrimony between the schools, followed by accusations that FSU (a 35-point underdog) wanted to avoid a rout. “This game was not canceled because of COVID,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. “COVID was just an excuse to cancel the game. To me, the Florida State administration forfeited the game."


Nice.


Along with the growing list of cancellations, we've had numerous teams play without their starting quarterback, their entire offensive line, or their head coach.


It's become a total farce.


As we've been saying ad nauseam, these are the things that happen when you make a decision based on money rather than health, safety, and the best interests of the “student” athletes.



More Trouble Ahead: It’s only going to get worse over the next month with the virus spiking. Tragically, this weekend's Apple Cup matchup between Washington and WSU, one of the great rivalries in college football, already has been canceled because of the Cougars' continuing COVID crisis.


The rest of the season and the entire post-season schedule are now 50-50 propositions at best.


Stanford Cuts (cont.): A few months ago, we registered our extreme disappointment that Stanford had cut 11 “minor” Olympic sports, ostensibly for budgetary reasons but actually so the athletic department can maintain its bloated administrative structure and try to compete with the Joneses in football salaries, facilities, and recruiting budgets.


That post, distributed widely by members and alums of the affected teams, was read by 9,400 people and used in presentations, letters, fund-raising campaigns, and as grist for other columnists.


Over the weekend, the “save Stanford sports” campaign got a bunch of heavyweight support that will be much more influential than this blog.


Star athletes from all 36 Stanford sports—including names like Andrew Luck, Jennifer Azzi, Kerri Walsh, Mike Mussina, Michele Wie, Julie Foudy Adam Keefe, Jessica Mendoza, Janet Evans, Summer Sanders and Jaron Collins—wrote a letter to the Stanford Magazine, and it was picked up in a powerful column by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ann Killion.


The group, calling itself “36 Sports Strong,” wrote that “the decision to eliminate 11 of 36 varsity sports at Stanford is a fundamental shift for the university…This precipitous action was not based on values Stanford athletics has demonstrated over decades. We were stunned by this decision because we love Stanford and this changes how we view Stanford. We are asking the university to reconsider.”


In addition to the blistering critique of this travesty, they offered to put their money where their mouth is:


“We wish that the University had reached out to us in advance of this announcement to explore its financial challenges and to discuss possible solutions. We could have helped. We still can.”


One might call that a pretty loud shot across the bow. We’ll see how Stanford responds.


Biggest Sore Loser, (cont.): Not content with baseless claims of fraud and specious lawsuits, the biggest loser is now lobbying state legislators to ignore the popular votes in their states and appoint alternate slates of electors.


His crack team of lawyers, also known as the Three Stooges (Rudy Giuliani, Gena Ellis and Sidney Powell) has been laughed out of every courtroom, so this appears to be the only Hail Mary the president has left.


So far, the states in question (Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania) have resisted his attempts at coercion and bribery. In the interest of democracy and the free and fair elections that are one of its pillars, let's hope they continue to stand tall.

Gary Cavalli - Bowl and League co-founder, author, speaker 

Gary Cavalli, the former Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director at Stanford University, was co-founder and executive director of the college football bowl game played in the Bay Area, and previously was co-founder and President of the American Basketball League.

Get in touch//@cavalli49//gacavalli49@gmail.com

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