Rutgers football: Return of Scarlet Knights underscores larger issues for Big Ten

Raiqwon O'Neal, Rutgers Scarlet Knights. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
Raiqwon O'Neal, Rutgers Scarlet Knights. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /
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Rutgers Scarlet Knights logo. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images) /

Making it fair

Let’s not forget about the actual game in terms of equality or, more specifically, a “level playing field.”

Earlier I asked about what happens if people get sick. At what point does an entire program get shut down? One person, five, ten? How about a breakout on campus? The university’s (and conference) first responsibility is the health and safety of students and staff. Are those games then forfeited?

For the sake of argument, the Big Ten sets a return date, but Chicago is still somewhat of a “hot spot.” Is it the right thing to do to send students into an area they know the virus is still a threat? Conversely, would it be fair to Northwestern to play all their games on the road?

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No matter when the sport returns, various states will have limits as to how many people could attend an event. Would it be fair if New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy bans large gatherings through the end of 2020 and Rutgers home games are played in an empty stadium (no jokes please), while 40,000 rabid Cornhuskers fans show up for a game in Lincoln, NE?

All the above is the long version of nobody knows when or if there will be Rutgers football any time soon. Not once did I mention how many games would be played, scheduling, non-conference opponents, Bowls, security, or football-related injury care. There are so many unknowns and so many mitigating factors on a school by school basis that an answer anytime soon is unlikely.

Next. Rutgers commitment to Pikiell was the best move. dark

What do you think about the legal and competitive ramifications of Rutgers and the Big Ten resuming athletics? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.