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Game cancellations are a preventive measure, not a sign of crisis

Texas A&M’s football team has only a small handful of positive COVID-19 tests. The quarantine and subsequent postponements aim to keep it that way.

Arkansas v Texas A&M Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

We learned on Monday morning that Texas A&M will postpone it’s upcoming football game against Ole Miss, marking the second time in as many weeks that the team’s game has been postponed following positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff. And A&M is not alone, with 65 games canceled nationally over the course of this college football season, including 15 just last week.

It’s easy to see this onslaught of game cancelations, combined with the continued rise of COVID-19 cases across the country, as a sign of impending doom for a college football season that has always felt tenuous. And if things don’t improve, that could still be the case. But it’s also important to take a critical look at the reasons for these cancellations and the policies causing them. Most importantly, the necessity of quarantining exposed players.

Florida vs Texas A&M Photo by Tim Casey/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

For the majority of canceled games, the problem hasn’t been dozens of players on a single team with positive tests, wiping out the entire roster. More often than not, it is a small handful of players who test positive. But once that occurs, any players who were exposed to those who tested positive are then quarantined for 14 days in order to monitor for symptoms and, hopefully, curtail the spread of the disease. This is the case for Texas A&M, with, as far as we know, still only two positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff. While two games in a row getting postponed sounds bad, it is not a sign of a situation spiraling out of control. Quite the opposite, in a way. The canceled games are the result of rigorous testing and infection prevention protocols put in place months ago in order to prevent cases from growing exponentially and the season getting lost. The ideal scenario would have been no positive cases and no games postponed, but that was likely always a pipe dream.

The hope is that these negative tests among quarantined players continue, and next week they can all resume practice and continue with what is shaping up to be a potentially special season. And with no reports of additional positive tests, there’s no reason to think that can’t happen. Hopefully instead of these past two weeks being a time to hit the panic button, we’ll look back and think of it as a reset button.


How confident are you that Texas A&M will play all 10 regular season games?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Very confident
    (50 votes)
  • 36%
    Think it’ll happen, but have concerns
    (181 votes)
  • 45%
    I think we might come up a game or two short
    (224 votes)
  • 8%
    Sitting at the Arby’s drive thru now
    (41 votes)
496 votes total Vote Now