The Ohio State Problem

College football lacks integrity.

The college football industry has never had much integrity. The Marx Brothers 1932 movie Horse Feathers lampooned the college football industry and 88 years later, integrity is not a strong suit. The latest example of this is the Big Ten which decided to play football after shutting down the season because of COVID-19. There would be a requirement that a team would have to play six games to be eligible for a conference championship game appearance. Ohio State has played five games. Ohio State is not going to meet that threshold as its game with Michigan has been canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the Michigan football program. That left two options on the table for Ohio State and the Big Ten. Throw the six-game minimum rule out or see if Ohio State could at the last minute find an opponent. This weekend’s Michigan-Ohio State game is not the only Big Ten game to be canceled. Purdue and Indiana University have decided not to play their Old Oaken Bucket game because both football programs have COVID-19 outbreaks.

College sports, football and basketball, are struggling to get product before the public. COVID-19 outbreaks are rising and games are being called off. There is only one reason the games are being played. Money. In mid-September, the chancellors and presidents of the Big Ten member schools decided all is well even though there were outbreaks of COVID-19 on college campuses around the United States. It was time to stop wasting time and get the student-athletes back on the practice field in the classroom meetings and play football. After all there is money being lost from television and marketing partners without a product, football games. The United States still has not contained COVID-19 but there is money on the table, football must be played.

(AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.