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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Coronavirus Roundup: A return to sports is promising

<p>Stadiums across teh country have been left empty with sporting events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p>

Stadiums across teh country have been left empty with sporting events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been nearly two months since COVID-19 brought the world of sports to a complete stop.

Social distancing measures have limited collegiate and professional athletes to the backyards of their own homes for training. Coaches, meanwhile, have been forced to learn more about Zoom than they signed up for.

Fans have suffered, too.

There’s typically a mixture of NBA, NHL and MLB games on any given night throughout the spring. College baseball and football tend to make the news as well.

As of right now, though, there is none of that.

In the 61 days without sports, fans have found solace in the virtual rendition of the NFL Draft and Michael Jordan’s new documentary on ESPN. However, with several states reopening gradually in May, there is a good opportunity for sports to make a comeback in the near future.

College Football

It’s never too early to talk about college football, especially when spring practices are supposed to be taking place. Normally, the chatter is about an incoming freshman or a backup quarterback vying for a starting role. This time around, the conversations deal with the prospect of a 2020-21 season.

All but one (Vanderbilt) of the 14 schools in the SEC have stated their plans to hold in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester, a crucial benchmark for the return of sports to college campuses.

Once every school in the SEC decides to reopen, it will be easier for commissioner Greg Sankey to devise a plan for fall sports, which is good news for Gators football.

Major League Baseball

The 2020 MLB Draft will look much different than in previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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On Friday, Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported that the draft would be cut from 40 rounds to five in an effort to save costs during a time of financial unrest.

Cutting down the draft will save each team about $1 million, but it will also result in more than 1,000 college players going undrafted.

Whoever goes undrafted has the possibility of signing with any team for a maximum of $20,000.

With that being said, college baseball players will be faced with an interesting decision when they (don’t) hear their names called on June 10.

European Soccer

The German Bundesliga set itself apart from the rest of Europe’s top soccer leagues last week when it announced a return to action.

On Saturday, the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will take the field in competitive play after training under social distancing restrictions for most of April.

La Liga (Spain), the Premier League (England) and Serie A (Italy) have yet to make official decisions regarding their respective seasons. Ligue 1 (France), on the other hand, crowned Paris Saint-Germain as champions since they had the most points when the season was initially stopped.

Follow Bryan on Twitter @bryan_2712 and contact him at bmatamoros@alligator.org.

Stadiums across teh country have been left empty with sporting events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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