College Sports and COVID-19

Jeff Long, Jim Sterk, Steve Wieberg
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
6:30 pm

As America’s major spectator sports plot a return from their COVID-19-induced hiatus, reactions range from elation to apprehension to … why?

Nowhere, perhaps, is that restart more complicated than it is in college athletics, where passions run deep but the ties to higher education must be weighed and those on the playing field, at some presumed degree of risk, aren’t getting paid. Football is the tradition-rich, big-money bellwether, and its season is scheduled to kick off in a little more than two months. Will it? In what form, how safely, and what about a typical game day’s tens upon tens of thousands of fans? Officials say health and safety are primary but, as in real life, there is an economic tug.

In a special online presentation, University of Missouri Athletics Director Jim Sterk and Kansas AD Jeff Long examine the coronavirus-related issues facing sports in general and, more specifically, the questions and challenges unique to college sports. They look, too, to a scheduled resumption of the schools’ storied rivalry after eight years of estrangement.

The Library’s Steve Wieberg, a former USA Today reporter who wrote extensively about college athletics, moderates the discussion. Watch the online presentation live at

Online event