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Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are the opinions du jour.

n The United States is as split on this issue as if it were a presidential election.

Some fans believe the Big Ten and Pac-12 were correct for postponing the 2020 football season due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Other fans side with the three Power Five schools — SEC, ACC and Big 12 — that decided to stay the course and keep playing.

Who’s right?

Who’s wrong?


Or, perhaps, it’s everybody. That’s because most people don’t seem to understand what this “play or not to play” scenario really involves.

On one side, there’s the medical issue.

Take Jon Drezner, for example. He is the University of Washington’s team physician and a member of the Pac-12 medical advisory board.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, our country is one of the worst controlled on the planet,” Drezner told CBS Sports. “We have more deaths than any country. We have cases surging all over the place. We haven’t done what we needed to do to play fall sports.

“And that is really sad.”

Then, there’s the NCAA’s top doctor who says there’s “no way to go forward” without drastic improvement in testing.

That’s the medical side of the debate.

Now, here’s the legal side.

When the NCAA banned universities from having players sign “liability waivers” at the urging of Senator Corey Booker and Senator Richard Blumenthal, it was a significant mistake.

Although it was designed to protect student-athletes’ rights at the time, what it also did was prohibit players such as Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields from signing a waiver that would eliminate liability for negligence.

It Fields and his Power 5 brethren could sign a waiver saying they are willing to assume the risk of infection, effectively taking colleges off the hook liability-wise, college football would be going on just like normal.

But that’s not the case.

So, why did the Big Ten and Pac-12 defer, while the others continued? It’s no coincidence that the Big Ten and Pac-12 faced a big obstacle when league players organized under #BigTenUnited and #WeAreUnited.

The SEC, ACC and Big 12?

Their players didn’t organize into a movement.

Think it’s a coincidence the Big Ten and Pac-12 chose to shut it down, while the SEC, ACC and Big 12 stayed the course? It wasn’t. One word can describe this entire situation.


Imagine being a plaintiff’s attorney handling a parents’ case against a big-time university who had allowed their football-playing son to contract COVID-19 and, now, has myocarditis, which is believed to be a by-product of the coronavirus and can cause permanent heart damage.

The lawyer would be frothing at the mouth.

The bottom line is just that. … the bottom line. It appears the Big Ten and Pac-12’s decisions to postpone the 2020 college football season may not have been just about health and safety during this pandemic.

More than likely, it also was about liability.

So much for fun and games.

  • Isaiah Green is not back with Marshall University’s football team.

That needed to be clarified because when the former MU starting quarterback recently removed his name from the transfer portal, many people assumed it meant he was returning to the Herd.

He’s not.

Marshall athletic officials confirmed Green is not a member of the football program.

Case closed.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at

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