Bursting the NBA bubble

College athletics should consider implementing the NBA sports bubble

Ever Loveridge , Staff Writer

You’re flipping through the channels on your TV, trying to find something interesting to watch. You stop on a live basketball game, the Utah Jazz versus the Denver Nuggets. Scanning the court you realize the stands are empty. Instead of actual people filling the stands, virtual fans are being broadcasted on a video board above the benches. It’s unlike any basketball game you’ve ever witnessed. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been put on hold for months in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Many aspects of daily life were affected by this virus including the world of professional and amateur sports.

The National Basketball Association’s season was suspended for at least 30 days on Mar. 1 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, the NBA has been faced with the decision regarding if and how they will continue the season. The NBA decided on Jun. 4 after careful consultation with players, coaches, and team owners that they were going to resume their season. 

The idea of the NBA Bubble was born. The figurative  bubble is located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida using the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. 22 of the 30 teams in the NBA were invited to come to the bubble to finish out the remainder of their season, the NBA playoffs.  

    When players arrive at the bubble, they are quarantined from the outside world and only able to interact with each other in an effort to negate a chance of the virus spreading. Teams are staying in three different hotels in the Disney Park. Overall, the NBA Bubble has been  successful, allowing athletes to continue playing the sport they love while staying safe and healthy. There have been no cases of COVID-19 while in the bubble, and other professional sports programs have been able to safely implement the bubble-like systems as well.  

“The NBA bubble has held. So has the NHL’s double bubble. The WNBA and MLS, [have ]no leaks. In this unprecedented landscape of sports in a pandemic world, one indisputable fact has emerged: bubbles work,”according to Fox Sports News. 

This method of playing sports in the professional arena may be able to be implemented at the college level. Many college football teams have canceled their season because of the dangers of the virus and not being able to follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, like wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart. 

The Pac 10 and University of Nebraska football has postponed the fall football season until spring, but if college sports could find a way to replicate the NBA bubble, there would be no need to postpone. 

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence recently tweeted, “I don’t know about y’all, but we want to play.”

 This started a trend on twitter with multiple college athletes tweeting #IWantToPlay.  This trend illustrates that athletes want a chance to play their sports safely, and they are willing to work with whatever procedures necessary to be able to compete. 

Winter sports athletes like basketball players  are already looking for ways to ensure their season continues..  

The idea of a bubble would be a really good idea, just to isolate all the teams who want to play against each other in that bubble and keep things safe, keep away from the public and keep us in our own area where we’re able to play the game the right way and safely,” Duke sophomore forward Wendell Moore, Jr said on Fox Sports News.

If colleges can find a way to implement the bubble in their programs, players have the opportunity to continue their careers safely.. “The Pac-12, for example, could easily take every program to a venue and house every program in their own housing units. The coaches would continue to coach and the student-athletes would all take online classes while preparing for their upcoming games,” KSL reporter Tom Hackett said.. 

This way of implementing a bubble transcends across all collegiate sports. It is true that creating a bubble at the college level is a hefty task, however if it can be accomplished, it means the athletes will be able to play their sport in safety this season and athletic programs can stay financially afloat.  

 The past few months athletes have been wondering if they will get a final chance to play the game they love. 98 % of college football players don’t go on to play professional sports. 

For the majority of college football players, this season is their last chance to play at a competitive level. They recognize that sports are not the most important thing in other people’s minds,, but it’s one of the most important to them. 

Whatever the methods being used, athletes are willing to give it a chance in the hope that they will be able to play their sport this year.  Let’s give athletes an opportunity to compete,  a chance to play the sport they love, a chance to play with the teammates who have become family, a chance to play for the school they are proud to represent. One day athletes won’t be able to play anymore, all they will have is the memories of the time they were able to. Let’s not let a pandemic take away the memories.