Sports should be played in NJ even if schools are closed (Opinion)
It's good to know that athletes who were awarded sports scholarships in New Jersey will have those honored, whether or not they play the games — but I see no reason why they should not at least try to play the games if safety protocols are executed properly.
The world of professional sports has given us several blueprints on how to do it. Granted, you're not going to put the athletes in bubbles like the NBA and NHL, but with constant testing and supervision, you could and should try to play the games in closed arenas without fans but with the games available online so that we can watch.
Schools can make up some of the lost ticket revenue by selling advertising on the broadcasts. Chances are, the parents of any players who own businesses will run ads or buy sponsorships. That's something that should be done even after this pandemic ends.
Whether or not schools open in New Jersey should not affect whether games will be played. You're talking about a limited number of kids who could be constantly tested, socially distanced and wearing masks on the bench — kids who are at very low risk for coming down with the novel coronavirus and who would sign a waiver to play.
These kids work and train all their lives for a chance to play. While not everyone becomes a professional athlete, there are several other careers that are born from students going down this road. Unlike other classes, you can't play games online.
COVID-19 has already destroyed so many dreams. It doesn't have to destroy those of these athletes who've earned the right to play.