When the clock ran out on college football’s national championship game on the night of January 11, confetti rained down on the shoulders of the Alabama players and staff. That, alas, was one of the few norms that survived the NCAA’s fall sports season, which saw COVID-wary schools cut back on practices and games (Ohio State’s football team played only eight games, including the title contest) while some canceled the entire season. Amid the sports must-go-on mentality that prevailed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a look at exposure rates among college athletes in 17 states. What they found was far from the disastrous spread many health officials had predicted, but infection rates that nonetheless exceeded national ones between June and October. For that reason, the season can’t go down in the record books as a “W.”
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