Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Michigan State Spartans fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
There may have been no other year at least in recent history that has seen as much turbulence to college athletics than 2020. COVID-19 concerns already ended the 2020 NCAA Tournament before it even started and now it appears the football season will have the same fate, at least in the Big Ten.
Fans, however, don’t think any of these changes will last.
While the Big Ten made the decision to cancel the 2020 season, other conferences around the country have been left to make their own decisions. Allowing each conference to make their own decisions has lead some to believe the Power Five conferences – SEC, ACC, Big XII, Pac-12 and the Big Ten – will break away from the NCAA and create their own governing body.
Fans aren’t ready to take that step just yet. According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, a slight majority of fans don’t think the NCAA has reached its breaking point.
A key reason behind the fan vote appears to be the desire to treat 2020 like an anomaly. While that may mean there’s no football this year, it won’t change any other aspect of college athletics.
Michigan State fans find themselves in a unique situation. With a new head coach in Mel Tucker and a roster still on the rebound, expectations weren’t overly high heading into this season. Cynically, missing this year of football wouldn’t be the worst thing for the program.
Despite the current state of the Big Ten, there are still rumblings of trying to create a spring football season. While that may be desirable for those just looking for football of any kind, most fans don’t want to force a spring season if it means the 2021 season is affected.
Whether a spring football season or fall football in other leagues, it’s clear that some sort of a solution is needed if college athletics will be played this year. The difficulties within the NCAA far surpass those in professional leagues, as the powers-that-be clutch to amateurism and the concept of a student athlete.
Both the NBA and NHL were able to successfully play their season in bubbles. That’s a concept that has been considered among conferences, especially ones like the Big Ten that are mostly still regional. But again, fans don’t anticipate this change to come. Just over one-third of fans think the basketball season will be held in a bubble this year.
Unlike the football season, it would be a far bigger concern for MSU fans if the coming basketball season is put at risk. After missing their shot at another NCAA Tournament run last year, the Spartans again appear to be in position for a successful year.
Fans might be clutching to a chance at a return to normalcy. It may well be wishful thinking that, if nothing else, at least 2021 will be the way it is planned. But for now, it appears the changes aren’t stopping soon.
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