Alabama Crimson Tide: Canceled sports mean crushed dreams and what about football

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Alabama Crimson Tide athletes in winter and spring sports are absorbing disappointment of canceled seasons. Spring football and NFL Pro Days could be next.

Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12 were rare days. A shutdown decision by the NBA triggered a major shift in thinking. Millions of Americans were harshly reminded life offers no guarantees. What followed within a span of about 18 hours was unprecedented.

Other professional leagues and the NCAA followed the NBA’s lead. For some Alabama Crimson Tide athletes, the loss of championship opportunities in 2020 marked the end of their college careers. For others, it means the end of their playing careers.

Alabama Crimson Tide fans are also dismayed. Hopefully, almost all will realize a pandemic requires drastic actions. Decisions that may later be considered an over-reaction, must be made due to potentially dire consequences. As much as we rejoice in the excitement of Alabama Crimson Tide sports, our concerns need not be if a team or a player gets to compete again. Even sacrosanct Alabama football can take a backseat if the University of Alabama deems it wise.

COVID-19, as explained by infectious disease experts, is not a flu. There have been other Coronaviruses, including the MERS and SARS viruses. They are considered severe and dangerous but until now, none have been so infectious. On Feb. 1, according to the World Health Organization, there were more than 10,000 cases globally. According to Johns Hopkins, the number on Mar. 12 is over 128,000.

There have been 4,720 deaths globally, including 40 in the United States. All these numbers are confirmed cases. Countries where testing began later than China and South Korea could have exponentially more infected than testing has discovered. Italy, the country with the largest outbreak after China, has rapidly grown to 15,000 cases according to the Italy Department of Civil Protection. Italian hospital officials predict the country will not come close to having enough medical facilities to match patient demand.

The preceding two paragraphs have a purpose and it is not political. This health risk is far too serious to worry about, if or when sports in the U.S. will be able to continue. We join in the sadness being felt by Alabama Crimson Tide athletes. On a scale of disappointment, that could include loss of life among Alabama Crimson Tide fans, every precaution is in order.

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As of late Thursday evening, no change had been made in the Alabama football spring practice schedule. The first session is scheduled for Friday, March 13. UPDATE Mar. 13, 1:13 PM CST, Matt Zenitz reporting the Tide’s first practice has been canceled.