(Bloomberg Opinion) — The University of North Carolina and Notre Dame have both suspended in-person classes because of an outbreak of Covid-19 cases among students. Yet both will continue their athletic programs, including their football seasons. Despite the view that this is a sick inversion of priorities — putting sports over classroom learning — there is a case to be made that both schools did the right thing.
First, football has always been more dangerous than the core educational project of universities. The dangers of football include the risk of concussions, which turns out to have been greatly underrated, and more generally broken bones, sprains, fractures and the psychological trauma of constantly being banged up. It would be better for American society simply to abandon the sport, in fact.
Still, if football is to continue, it’s not clear why Covid-19 should necessarily stop it. The virus may not even be