Tiki Barber Blasts NCAA's Lack Of COVID-19 Leadership

The Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled the 2020 college football season Tuesday, with hopes of playing in the spring; it remains to be seen what the SEC, ACC and Big 12 will do

Tiki and Tierney
August 11, 2020 - 5:09 pm
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The Big Ten canceled the 2020 college football season Tuesday, with hopes of playing in spring 2021. The conference stated that “multiple factors” led to this decision, including “medical advice and counsel” from health experts.

The Pac-12 followed suit shortly thereafter, canceling the fall season with hopes of playing in the spring.

It remains to be seen what the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 will do regarding the 2020 season, but it appears they will be left to their own devices.

“At the end of the day, this is why I really have a gripe with the NCAA,” Tiki Barber said on Tiki & Tierney. “They push it off to the individual conferences to make decisions. ‘Not us. I’m just the head of the association. It’s not my business to make a decision for you, XYZ conference. It’s not my job to make a decision for you, XYZ university.’ But the problem then becomes you get a cluster. You get everybody doing different things and saying different things.”

The NCAA did the same thing in March, ultimately letting each conference decide how to handle its college basketball tournaments. Some conferences canceled the tournament, some proceeded without fans, and some proceeded as normal. It was a disaster.

College football, it seems, won’t be any different.

“The player, the student-athlete, gets lost in the middle of it,” Barber said. “[They have] nobody representing them. They don’t have a union. You heard them call for it [Monday] because they want protections – not only from the coronavirus and safety protocols, but what the hell has happened with my life if we play or don’t play next year?"

Barber questions whether a spring football season is even feasible – for many reasons. 

“How in the world are you playing two college football seasons in one calendar year?” Barber asked. “So you finish your regular season from 2020 and then all of a sudden you’re in spring football of 2021 two months later. Physically, it’s demanding. It becomes like an NFL schedule. . . . I don’t know if their bodies are ready for it. There’s a lot of issues [with this].”