James Pugh

They call it the "domino effect."

When one falls, they all follow suit.

Like at the beginning with state shutdowns due to COVID-19, the process of slowing reopening America has been similar. When one announces plans to do one of the two, the rest follow.

The same is beginning to happen across the board in regards to the upcoming fall semester with universities.

I'm not technically sure who shared intentions to reopen in the fall first, but the dominos are beginning to fall. Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Illinois, Iowa, Purdue, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State, and most recently Alabama (I'll later discuss why more importantly) has announced plans to reopen their institutions in the fall as scheduled.

So precisely what does all this mean?

In short, the imminent return of college athletics.

Now before I lead you to believe that college football will start on time, I must interject my thoughts on how I think the 2020 season, at best, will be delayed three to four weeks. But at this point, the season even playing out at all is a huge win. Months ago, the panic-mongers were saying such things like "we don't see college or professional athletics coming back till 2021.

Listen to what the University of Alabama's Dr. Stuart Bell had to say days ago: "As we look forward to accomplishing another great fall semester welcoming back students and welcoming back our sports teams to be able to have competition. Those are our plans, and it's a high bar and anticipates that we will be able to meet that."

In a multi-billion dollar industry, what Alabama does and says usually catches everyone's attention. If Alabama is up to playing the 2020 college football season on time, more universities will follow suit.

Hopefully.

From now, May 5th, to the beginning of September is a long time. Anything could happen. We could continually see less and less COVID-19 cases, or with many states beginning the reopening process, we could see a slight uptick in cases across the country. But for now, planning to start on time is a smart move.

It’s better to plan than have no plan at all.

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