View Poll Results: When will major pro or college sports resume in America?

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  • Summer: May - July

    8 8.99%
  • Fall: August - October

    41 46.07%
  • Winter: November - January

    17 19.10%
  • First half of 2021: Feb - June

    14 15.73%
  • Second half of 2021: July - Dec

    7 7.87%
  • 2022 or beyond

    2 2.25%
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  1. #1
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is online now Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Do sports, and more specifically NCAAB, return?

    I feel that a discussion about the timeline for sports' return might be worth its own thread here, separate from the more general COVID thread on the off-topic board... but obviously this only works if the thread stays focused on the interplay between COVID and sports. Mods, if this isn't appropriate or becomes inappropriate, please move/close and take my sincere apologies.

    Anyways, I felt it worthwhile to start this because of this article from SI.com that offers a pretty sobering take on when we can expect sports to return. While I think most people have understood that the reality we're facing is likely no in-person attendance, at least in a "normal" capacity, for the foreseeable future, many have been getting optimistic about the various options to get sports up and running again under some sort of "quarantine" scenario. But as discussed in this article, the science says that may still be at worst a pipe-dream, and at best a logistical nightmare that will require hugely ramped up testing capabilities.

    All this begs the obvious question of how this plays out in the fall... considering the timelines at play, will the ability/inability to get sports up and running in some form now affect when we can expect to see NCAAB?

    Again, if this needs to be shutdown/moved, I apologize, but I figured a focused discussion on COVID and sports may be warranted since this aspect of things may be of more general interest to the board and may be lost amongst the chatter on the off-topic thread.
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    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
    Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
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  2. #2
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    Debbie Downer here ...


    when there's a vaccine OR a highly efficient treatment.
    "Either they're going down, or we are! Kirk out!"

  3. #3
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    When will we have an adequate supply of accurate, reliable, rapid-result test kits?

  4. #4
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is online now Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonpie23 View Post
    Debbie Downer here ...


    when there's a vaccine OR a highly efficient treatment.
    That's unfortunately where my mind has been lately... and while I can go into more detail in the off-topic thread on the science, that 12-18 month estimate that people are talking about for the vaccine is VERY optimistic. So I would put my hopes on option B there.

    Quote Originally Posted by BD80 View Post
    When will we have an adequate supply of accurate, reliable, rapid-result test kits?
    Who knows. FWIW there is positive news out of Canada today on that front.

    As the article mentions, the only way the various "quarantine" ideas work is if we have the testing capabilities, and even then there's an element of risk involved... unless that quarantine is going to include everyone from the players to the farmers growing their food, which obviously isn't feasible.
    Scott Rich on the front page

    Trinity BS 2012; University of Michigan PhD 2018
    Duke Chronicle, Sports Online Editor: 2010-2012
    K-Ville Blue Tenting 2009-2012

    Unofficial Brian Zoubek Biographer
    If you have questions about Michigan Basketball/Football, I'm your man!

  5. #5
    Testing, testing, testing. That's the first and most important thing that needs to happen. We don't even know what we're fighting against. I've had multiple friends tell me about severe illness - bronchitis, pneumonia, etc - that required hospitalization in the last couple months. Hospitals did the available tests on them for flu, pneumonia, etc. Once a test came back positive, they stopped testing and treated the "common" illness. They didn't even get a COVID-19 test. Here in New York City, where I live, the rate of people being found dead at home, alone, is way above the normal rate. Those poor souls will never be tested. We just don't know the extent of this yet and won't for some time.

    Assuming we can get testing going at scale sometime in the next 3-6 months, I could see a situation in which sporting events return. First will be the individual sports, like that awful game of HORSE the NBA rolled out last night. Basketball could be tried on a limited scale - no fans, keep the teams in isolation, etc. If fans are allowed to attend, they will most likely be kept back by many, many rows and in limited numbers. The NBA appears more poised to try this than does the college game. If the NBA figures it out, perhaps the college game can copy the model.

    I have no idea if this can be done in a reasonable timeframe. I have no trust in the U.S. government or NCAA at the moment. I don't think it is worth speculating if and when sports returns, to be honest. The situation on the ground needs to change before any decisions are made about games. Right now, more than 2,000 Americans are meeting their end each and every day. Is this the peak? Is this just the beginning? Who knows such things? I hope that we make careful decisions from here. We need more time, more data, more understanding of where the virus is and how it spreads. That will come with time. The clock won't start until there is testing.

  6. #6
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    When we at least have the following:

    1. MUCH better testing and surveillance of cases. If we can't identify the cases and isolate them quickly enough, we can't have sports.
    2. An effective treatment for cases, so that individuals getting it aren't at a huge risk of awful outcomes.
    3. Perhaps some sort of antibody that can provide temporary immunity.

    And perhaps not even then. Universities have to open back up first. If we see a significant rebound in cases once we relax the social distancing restrictions, it's going to be hard to send kids back to school in the Fall. So while that might not affect bball, it could. But even if school DOES start back up, who's to say we won't have a seasonal rebound of the disease in October/November (like we do with the flu)?

    Fingers crossed that we get sports in the Fall and Winter. But it's far from a given.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    College sports can start when the colleges begin normal operations, which will require IMHO (where the H got skewered by an IV needle) the following --

    A much, much, much lower daily infection rate -- say fewer than 200 new cases per day for the US of A. (Now we're at 30,000.)

    Unlimited availability of tests -- so every student and staff member gets tested -- at Duke, that's about 50,000 people.

    Provisions to isolate those testing positive (as Duke can do) and serious efforts to track all contacts with those testing +.

    Some "rules of the road" for off-campus travel and connections.

    These onerous -- but do-able -- conditions can be relaxed a bit if there is a proven therapy (treatment) that is available in large supply. But I think testing will be a requirement. Or, maybe, maybe a proven vaccine. I'm not holding my breath on the last -- too tricky to predict. May make some progress on antibody injections -- but those would offer temporary immunity.

    Now does that mean 100,000 people at the Big House? Oh, I don't think so...
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  8. #8
    The thought of sports not returning (any time in the future that we can see) is a very depressing thought, as sports tends to be an escape.

    But what keeps me up at night is the return of America to work. If 9000 people can't be in Cameron Indoor Stadium, or 20,000 in Wallace Wade ,using Duke as an example, then how are thousands of workers going to go into factories across the country. Especially if we are talking about more than a year.

    Sports would be the least of our concerns.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    College sports can start when the colleges begin normal operations, which will require IMHO (where the H got skewered by an IV needle) the following --
    ...
    I believe there will have to be a disconnect between a college operating normally and inter-collegiate sports. If you are an administrator at a college you can take the precautions to make sure your own facilities and the people that work and live there are safe. It is another thing to send your students and staff to another school or have students and staff from another school visit and ensure their safety.

  10. #10
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    Durham
    We're all speculating here, and I imagine many if not most associated with duke are in a subset of people who can largely weather a shutdown indefinitely. Most americans cannot. My point isn't to be political, but to point out that I don't believe such a long shutdown will be supported by the population at large. People are going to need to work, and if they're not allowed to do it above ground, it'll happen under the table.

    So for better or worse, I believe the government's hand is going to end up forced on this one, and restrictions will end up loosened long before any of the mass testing/vaccine stuff is complete. We've largely seen a constant number of new infections per day for nearly 2 weeks nationwide, and every state has largely stabilized in that regard. This would mean, in theory, we're almost at (time wise) the maximum number of total active cases given the current restrictions, which aligns with many predictions that the "peak" would me mid to late april. Once we're there, we have an established baseline where restrictions can be gradually lifted in areas that have capacity to observe the effect. For instance, maybe in NC, barber shops reopen, with strict rules about number of clients at a time and maintaining separation/masks.

    In any case, I imagine we'll end up in a situation where at risk persons have to continue to segregate while the general population restrictions are relaxed. Maybe it's the most expedient thing to do, maybe it's not. Sweden, for instance, went this route from the get go (not to pretend that it's the right way for the US...as I said, I don't know), but people aren't going to tolerate a year+ of this. They can't afford it.

    So what does that mean for sports? I agree that we won't see packed houses any time soon. I think baseball will happen sometime this summer, with empty stadiums, testing requirements for players, and heavy restriction while travelling. I think the next step is limited crowds, spaced out seating, specific rules about concessions (like no common ketchup pump...not that anyone should be putting ketchup on stuff). Tons of hand sanitizer around, masks...etc. I could see that happening by the end of the season. The players want to play.

    Football and basketball are a bit trickier. I can see duke starting the fall semester remotely, and if they did so, i imagine sports wouldn't happen. I put a very high probability on the SEC football season happening, though...as it's the most die-hard region, a region perhaps least likely equipped to deal with an indefinite shutdown, and the ones most likely to be willing to defy government orders.

    Anyway, that's just my rambling thoughts and speculation.

    I hope you all are doing alright, and hope to enjoy some tasty beers pre-game in teh fall.
    It's being reported that due to coronavirus fears, Harvard has asked students not to return from spring break, and for classes to be held online.

    Not to be outdone, UNC told students to stop coming to class 27 years ago under Dean Smith.

  11. #11
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    Durham, NC
    I think pro sports versus college sports are very different questions, with pro sports returning much sooner than college. Having pros go back to work with proper precautions and medical supports playing in empty stadiums is not at all the same as having college kids get back to something that is, in theory, supposed to be ancillary to their education. Colleges will almost certainly not play sports until campuses are fully open again and classes are in session, and that's likely to be considerably after the pros decide they can play in a controlled setting.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD83 View Post
    I believe there will have to be a disconnect between a college operating normally and inter-collegiate sports. If you are an administrator at a college you can take the precautions to make sure your own facilities and the people that work and live there are safe. It is another thing to send your students and staff to another school or have students and staff from another school visit and ensure their safety.
    Don't disagree, but I expect the ACC athletic programs are already talking about how they launch fall sports, especially football. I expect Duke will be very influential because of our medical experts. I expect that, if we have school in the fall, we will have sports -- although attendance may be limited.

    Just an opinion.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  13. #13
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    Feb 2007
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    Washington, D.C.

    Too soon to know

    It all depends on the virus's progression and, to a lesser degree, to our medical progress. Right now, we don't know enough to make reasonable guesses. Kind of like a playing team thread when the roster isn't set. . . Not that that ever stopped us from guessing.

  14. #14
    One thing I'm wondering about is what colleges are going to do about students who have already had Covid-19 and have antibodies to protect them. Antibody testing isn't widely available yet but probably will be by late summer. We can only guess at the percentage of young people 18-22 who have antibodies already but by late summer we'll know. I'd guess by then that it will probably be at least 10% and that it could easily be 20% or more. That's not nearly enough to open up campus to all students but what about those students? Should we allow those students to come on campus? Could we have some sort of intercollegiate athletics based solely on these students?

    There are several problems with this scenario, such as the concern that a history of a Covid-19 infection may not give lasting immunity and whether granting special privileges to Covid-19 survivors would give a perverse incentive to young people to deliberately expose themselves to Covid-19, which would be a little dangerous to them and a lot dangerous to their communities.

    I wonder whether the percentage of young people who have survived Covid-19 will be approaching 50% by the end of the year, perhaps high enough to reopen the campuses in January. That's not a hopeful thought, though, since that would mean that Covid-19 will have been ravaging the country for nine months. There would probably be hundreds of thousands of Americans dead by then. I just don't know if we can avoid that. We can't all mostly stay home for months on end.

  15. #15
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    Thomas Boswell

    In his chat today, Tom Boswell of the Post addresses the question of when we will have MLB: "Short version: I don't think we're going to see another event in front of 10,000 people --much less 30,000 or 60,000 or more, until there is a vaccine in which the public has confidence and a treatment that is fairly effective for those who DO get the virus.

    That could be a LONG time --like a year or even more from today. We could be going to restaurants, students back in schools and living fairly normal lives in many ways LONG before "big-time sports" gets back to normal.

    As you say, the single most dangerous thing that anybody can imagine during a pandemic is a huge crowd jammed together for hours yelling in each other's faces after a score and high-fiving --like the damage done in Italy by "Game Zero" which I mentioned in a previous chat."

    https://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-...3.html#5959051

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Testing, testing, testing. That's the first and most important thing that needs to happen. We don't even know what we're fighting against. I've had multiple friends tell me about severe illness - bronchitis, pneumonia, etc - that required hospitalization in the last couple months. Hospitals did the available tests on them for flu, pneumonia, etc. Once a test came back positive, they stopped testing and treated the "common" illness. They didn't even get a COVID-19 test. Here in New York City, where I live, the rate of people being found dead at home, alone, is way above the normal rate. Those poor souls will never be tested. We just don't know the extent of this yet and won't for some time.
    You could not be more correct. Widespread, readily-available testing with quick results (less than an hour) is what has to happen before most people will again feel comfortable being in a crowd.

    The numbers of people in the US with Covid-19 as well as the number of people who have died from it are many times greater than what is being reported. Testing is still difficult to come by, unreliable (as much as 30% of tests are false negative), and takes way too long to provide a result.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    It all depends on the virus's progression and, to a lesser degree, to our medical progress. Right now, we don't know enough to make reasonable guesses. Kind of like a playing team thread when the roster isn't set. . . Not that that ever stopped us from guessing.
    So . . . is this really a “minutes” thread?



    (You have hit the nail on the head it seems to me.)

  18. #18
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    I agree that we are not going to see fans packed into stadiums until we have a vaccine or a cure. But I think we will see the major sports leagues find some way where there is an "acceptable risk" to restart competition late this summer or in the fall.

    College may be different and somewhat more difficult, though the fact that most of the people associated with college sports are younger could help. I think copious testing will be a major part of this and that we may see richer Power 5 schools able to afford methods of making this work that might not be available for smaller schools.

    I am betting that once we have plenty of 15-minute tests available, we will see teams and coaching/support staff all get tested before an event and that will allow sports to restart, largely without an audience. Part of getting the economy moving again is getting sports back... I firmly believe that.

    -Jason "look no further than this weeks Some Good News for proof of how much sports is a part of our culture" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  19. #19
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    I added a poll to the thread. Interested to see what the crowd thinks.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I added a poll to the thread. Interested to see what the crowd thinks.
    Do you mean a handful of games or the beginning of a full season (even if the front is lopped off)?

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