The UCLA COVID-19 Debacle

Dorian Robinson-Thompson is currently the University of Los Angeles, California football captain. UCLA had a rival game against Oregon University set for November 21. A week before the game, an unnamed athlete for UCLA suffered from a false positive COVID-19 test, which made things very difficult for the team. Thompson was near the athlete by close contact in the workouts before the game.

 The regulations instructed by the Governor of California Gavin Newsomin in order to play college football is any athlete that tests positive must retest twice to confirm the result of the athlete. If a false positive does happen, athletes must wait for the confirmation of the other two tests. By the time that the anonymous athlete and Thompson had waited, it was too late.

The Bruins ended up playing the game on time, making sure every single athlete tested negative at least twice before allowing athletes onto the field. The Bruins quarterback Robinson-Thompson had to be in quarantine during the game despite not testing positive for the virus. Thompson wished the Bruins the best on twitter, especially his replacement for the game, redshirt quarterback Chase Griffin. 

Although Griffin played an amazing game, did losing Thompson and a couple key starters alter the game result? The Bruins lost against the Ducks 38-35, even though Griffin threw for 195 passing yards and two touchdown passes. As a redshirt freshman, Griffin stepped up to the plate and played an amazing game while reading the ducks defense almost perfectly. In the previous two games for the Bruins, Thompson threw 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Thompson is an upperclassmen, and has been brought up in conversations as one of the NFL Prospects. 

In my opinion, I think college football should invest in the fastest COVID-19 tests, professional athletes wait around 5-10 minutes instead of 3-6 days. At the college level, coaches need to know ahead of time who is eligible to play. I believe that starters are obviously going to get more training and hands-on experience. If starters get more playing time, but find out a week before game day that they have to quarantine, it puts coaches in a situation where they need to train the bench players in a week.

I do not think college football is fair to do that to coaches. The millions of dollars in revenue that college players do not even receive should be used for faster testing until the vaccine is out. Having over 116 games postponed, there needs to be change.