Could Virus be an Excuse for Teams to Cancel Games?

Greg Arias

Over the last two months, we have been consumed by thousands of "what if" scenarios concerning college football season and how, and if there will even be games played. 

Well, here's another one that has now begun making the rounds of sports talk and fan sites, which begs the question, could this happen? 

The latest "what if" scenario centers around the prospects of teams using the COVID-19 virus as an excuse to escape playing games they have a chance of losing. 

Sounds far fetched? Stick with us. 

Most Power Five teams have scheduled games against mid-major or D-II teams, especially on opening weekend. Games like Vanderbilt hosting Mercer or UNCC visiting Tennessee are commonplace on week one. 

Could a smaller school use the excuse of players having contracted the virus to attempt to postpone/cancel those games to avoid a loss? If that were to happen, the larger school would be placed in a tough situation, allow for the cancellation fearing that their players could contract the virus, or refuse and seem insensitive to the threat of the infection.

That seems far-fetched considering the smaller schools take those games for a payday, expecting to take a loss for their efforts. 

Those same Power Five schools also schedule games with other Power Five teams outside their conferences, like Alabama opening virus USC. At the same time, Tennessee travels to Norman to face Oklahoma, and Vanderbilt has a date with Kansas State later in the season. 

Could one of those schools use the virus as an excuse to get out of a game where their potential for a loss is higher than against others on their schedule? 

What if "Team A" has a non-conference game against another Power Five opponent, but all four of their quarterbacks have tested positive and will not be available to compete. Could that team then back out of the matchup? 

We know that players from multiple teams have tested positive for the virus on their return to campus, so the possibility of other players to contract the virus exists before practices or games have even begun. 

That same possibility will, in all likelihood, remain during the season, which could prompt some teams to have issues that could force them to consider the cancelation of games. 

In the end, some teams could play 9 or 10 games while others might only be able to play 6 or 7 should these scenarios play out. 

These scenarios might never come to pass, but they are just the latest in a laundry list of other "what if's" that are worth thinking about and being prepared should they become a reality.

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.

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