Play Ball? Why the Answer Isn't the Same Across College Football

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The divisive "to play or not to play" debate has been universal amid the return of sports and college football has been no exception. 

Unlike professional sports which saw the NBA, MLB and NFL return in various formats and various degrees of success, there is no universal approach to the fall return of collegiate football. While the Big Ten and three other conferences, recently made the controversial decision to postpone the season, fans still are waiting to hear a decision from the SEC

From Sports Illustrated: Big Ten Parents Want Answers After Shift to Postpone Season

Part of the problem, is a lack of consensus among the medical boards advising the various conferences. Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger said the disparity among decision makers comes down to risk tolerance and the vast differences among the regions the conferences cover. "It's been a microcosm of the divided America. I've never seen it like this... the pandemic has exposed a broken system," Dellenger said. 

Differences among regions is nothing new amid the coronavirus pandemic is nothing new. In June, Dr. Anthony Fauci told TheStreet's Katherine Ross that the return of sports could not be unilaterally executed across the United States. 

"The issue is that the United States is a very large country. And it's a heterogeneous country. It is not uni-dimensional. So it's difficult to make statements about the United States as a whole. Because when you look at things, you make decisions regarding exposure, or potential exposure to the virus, based on the dynamics and the extent of the virus in any given location. And when I say location, I say, region, state, city, town, county, or what have you," Fauci said. 

Despite the setback, Jim Cramer remains hopeful sports can come back, and for good reason. Besides the cultural importance of sports in the U.S., the economic implications of college sports are top of mind for investors. From advertising to corporate sponsorships, companies including Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and more have some serious money on the table with CNN Business forecasting billions of dollars in potential losses for a canceled season. 

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