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UW Football Players Will Now Have Time To Read And Study

August 16, 2020


It was interesting over the past few days to read and hear the viewpoints from young athletes who learned the fall football season at the University of Wisconsin-Madison had been canceled due to the pandemic.  It was interesting to see how young people view the present situation our nation finds itself, and in so doing how they see themselves in relation to the rest of us.  What I discovered within the pages of the Wisconsin State Journal left me feeling that not everyone appreciates the scope of the pandemic, and some young people take for granted what they have, even if not being able to play football.  

Some football players stated they were angry and felt like the sacrifices made to prepare for the season weren’t going to pay off.

Still, canceling the season left players angry that their efforts to contain the virus — which included frequent testing and monitoring per conference protocols — weren’t rewarded with an attempt to play.

Players seem to resent the fact that over the past weeks they took the proper precautions so to prevent getting the virus which included frequent testing and monitoring per conference protocols.  But then they were not rewarded!

At a time when many people in the nation have to wait in long hot car lines under the summer sun to be tested, and then wait for an inordinate amount of time for results, football players were being tested in an easy manner with the results being forwarded in an incredibly short period of time. To now have these players feel they need to be rewarded for doing the proper thing for the health and safety not only of themselves but for the community is a stunning statement.

Van Lanen and fellow senior and safety Eric Burrell spoke with reporters Friday morning and detailed what was a “roller coaster”.

Well, it is true that the sports program did take the needed time to study and determine the varying options for the players, school, and community.  But having said that the players’ “roller coaster” was nothing compared to the business people throughout the country who are trying to keep the lights on, employees hoping to keep their job, or physicians and medical personnel fighting battles of all stripes in urgent care wards. Throughout the article, time and again, there was a total lack of regard or insight from these players into the gravity of the pandemic, or how it has impacted truly important aspects of our nation.

After reading several articles and watching news reports on this matter one wants to sit these young men down and alert them to the fact that if they are alive and healthy at this time it should not be taken for granted.  That is the stakes we are playing with today. Being healthy should be blessing enough! If not being able to play football is the rock in your shoe then take some long walks and prioritize your life. But just stop the whining, whatever you do.

Meantime buy your books and be pleased that you are enrolled at one of the top research universities in the nation.  Plan to get up and into class, read everything asked of you, study earnestly, and know education is the reason you are attending UW-Madison.

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