Clemson Football has 37 players who have tested positive for COVID-19 – roughly one-third of Dabo Swinney’s Tigers. That’s a huge percentage if his program is paying attention to protocols for safety.
It’s easy to make an assumption or two, start connecting dots, and come up with an intriguing and (hopefully) ridiculous conspiracy theory about why Clemson’s infection rate has risen so alarmingly. That kind of thinking makes for a good sports bar talking point.
Radio host and former ACC/NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason turned his show into a platform to discuss the strange idea of college football programs trying to create herd immunity through infecting players.
“I have to be really careful here,” explained Esiason on national radio and TV. “I don’t want to say that this is an accusation, (but) are they trying to herd immunity their teams? So, these guys can get sick now, as opposed to during the college football season, if in fact there is one. I’m telling you right now, I wouldn’t put it past any of those guys down there.”
The thought of purposefully creating an environment where student-athletes are exposed to a virus that has claimed more than 125,000 American lives is repugnant and horrifying, but Esiason sees it as possible if not likely.
What a terrifying indictment of college football and the men who coach it!
While it is true that COVID-19 is rarely fatal or the cause of longterm chaos in healthy men aged 18-23, but putting them at risk for contracting the virus now so they can create the antibodies that keep them immune during the upcoming season is insane.
If a coach has done such a thing, his athletic director needs to find out, dismiss him, and then the NCAA should ban him from coaching at an NCAA signatory for eternity for embracing a Third Reich level ends-justify-the-means philosophy.
That Esiason “wouldn’t put (attempting herd immunity through purposeful infection) past any of those guys down there,” means one of three things – Esiason took too many shots to the brain as a quarterback, he tried to create a hot-take segment out of whole cloth, or college coaches are so preoccupied with winning they would knowingly put the lives of their players at risk.
I hope Boomer was just trying to fill radio time.