COVID-19 has changed sports in so many ways that it’s impossible to count. It’s had a tremendous effect on the 2020-21 college basketball season. After canceling last year’s March Madness tournament, it threatens to do the same this year. The season is happening but isn’t resembling anything like any other season in recent memory. The Georgia Tech Yellowjackets are aware of this fact and recognized it after a recent victory in a bizarre way.
Georgia Tech’s 2020 season so far
According to ESPN, the Yellowjackets are currently 4-3. Thus far, they have only one game within ACC league play – a loss to Florida State. They also lost a four-overtime barnburner to Georgia State. They have one win on their schedule that would usually be notable – a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. The only issue is that Kentucky is experiencing something of a down year, so the win doesn’t mean what it would have in years past.
Georgia Tech has faced plenty of obstacles this year, but so has every team in the nation. COVID has turned the sport on its head.
Why this is such a weird year for college basketball
Obviously, this sports year is unlike any other. Like every sport, men’s college basketball has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Crowds have been nonexistent or limited. Schedules have been compromised. Players are forced to go through rigorous protocols just to be able to play. It’s inconvenient and in some cases heartbreaking that many of these players would have to experience their college careers in this way.
Some of the biggest, most influential names in college basketball are wondering if playing the season was the right move. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he believes the NCAA should reassess their decision to go forward with this season, according to Sports Illustrated.
“It wasn’t like well-planned. Just that we were going to start November 25. That was made without knowing where the vaccine was, how many cases. Basically, it was more a mentality of get as many games in as possible. I would just like for the safety, the mental and physical health of players and staff to assess where we’re at.”
The season isn’t likely to shut down anytime soon, so coaches and players are left with having to deal with the fallout of an oddly designed format at the moment. They’ll have to continue adhering to testing protocols and having fans not play a major role in the game. Certainly, as the calendar approaches March, speculation will begin to mount as to how the NCAA Tournament will play out.
Despite this challenging season, Georgia Tech is doing its best to take it in stride. They celebrated a recent victory in a way that’s very appropriate for 2020.
How Georgia Tech celebrated a win in true 2020 fashion
According to CBS Sports, Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner helped his team celebrate a win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a truly odd fashion. He had them bust a pinata shaped like a strain of COVID-19. Pastner called it a “COVID ball.”
The team seemed to enjoy the gesture, but it will be darkly ironic should the team suffer an outbreak of the disease. It’s hard to fault the players for trying to make light of a tough situation, as they’ve already been through so much. It’s fair to question whether Pastner should be doing such things, however. Being in a position of leadership, it may not be wise for him to tempt fate and make light of a deadly pandemic.