Banneker alum weighs in after Ivy League postpones football season due to COVID-19

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RuQuan Brown, a Banneker alumnus and freshman at Harvard University, hasn’t been able to play football after the Ivy League postponed all fall sports.

Jeffrey Ampedu

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many student athletes’ plans at colleges and universities around the United States. Many sports have been cancelled for the season to help prevent the spread of the virus, while others have been postponed.

The cancellation of sports has left many college students who were looking forward to their season upset. The Pac-12 conference in the western U.S. postponed fall sports before reversing course and starting football games in November, while the Big Ten announced their games will only be held between teams within the conference. But other conferences, including the Ivy League, have cancelled the fall season for all sports entirely.

RuQuan Brown, a Banneker alumnus in his first year at Harvard University, an Ivy League school, hasn’t been able to play football due to the postponement of the football season until next year.

“I wish we could be playing,” Brown said. “Football brings out community and joy that many other activities struggle to do.”

Even with the football season being cancelled, players are still required to practice and stay in shape. However,  practice isn’t the same as it used to be. Brown says that now he and his teammates practice in small groups and also have to wear masks, even though wearing facial coverings could make it difficult for them to breathe while running drills. 

Student athletes have to complete daily self health checks and they are encouraged to use face masks and social distance while they are training to help prevent the spread of the virus, U.S. News and World Report reported.

Daily check-ups for the virus help prevent the virus from spreading to other players on the team. Despite the unusual start to his college football career, Brown said he supported the measures his school is taking to keep athletes and others safe.

“I wouldn’t make any changes,” he said. “These things are necessary for health in our communities.”