Jul 10, 2020 - Sports

Blumenthal calls on colleges to cancel fall sports

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Friday called on major college athletic conferences to cancel their fall sports to ensure athletes' safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the Hartford Courant reports.

Why it matters: It's one of the first interventions from a prominent politician on the topic — and it comes after the Ivy League's move to pause fall sports and the Big Ten's decision to keep its competitions conference-only.

  • The Big Ten's decision, in particular, is likely to have a snowball effect on the rest of the country, and could force all Power 5 conferences to follow suit, resulting in a regionalized fall sports season.

What he's saying: "The Ivy League has taken a principled stand that it’s going to put the well-being and health of athletes first. The bigger football schools, which are dependent on the revenues, may see themselves differently, but my point is, no matter how much a school is a football powerhouse, no matter how big the revenues involved, athletes should be put first.”

  • Blumenthal, a frequent critic of the NCAA, also said that even if other major conferences follow the Big Ten's lead, that would not eliminate the inherent risks of returning to the field.

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