Friday, November 27, 2020
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Both the University of Rhode Island and Providence College men’s basketball teams now have a game of two under their belts.
That is a longer season than the Brown Bears and the rest of the Ivy League who canceled their winter sports season before it began.
PC and URI players and coaches need to be vigorous and disciplined in their personal behavior to continue to play, and regardless of what they do, other schools, referees, and support staff have to as well.
Nearly 50 men’s and women’s college teams’ first games of basketball have already been postponed or canceled.
There is no bubble in college basketball — there is no way to separate the teams and staff over the next few months to be able to ensure a full season.
The teams won’t just be competing for a good RPI, they really will be competing for a good CI score — a Coronavirus Index. How many times can they wash their hands and wear their masks effectively?
The vaccines now in FDA review will not immunize the Big Dance.
The players, coaches, and staffs need to be as regimented as a Bobby Knight-coached team. If any try to be Running Rebels this season, they will be joining the Ivy League and resigned to wishing the could be playing and Zooming instead.
This virus is cruel and undefeated. It runs up the score — just ask the families of the more than 260,000 dead Americans.
It can break any match-up zone or press. It thrives on those undisciplined teams who miss assignments — and forget not just what’s on the shot clock, but what’s at stake — for everyone.
This season’s success will be defined by playing without getting infected.
If you can pull that off, then raise a banner.
America — and the world — are watching.
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