Faculty News

Michigan Minds: Impact of COVID-19 on College Athletics, Professional Sports

From individual athletes to entire sports leagues, the sports industry has been among those significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health restrictions implemented to slow its spread. 

In this episode of Michigan Minds, Ron Wade, clinical assistant professor of Sport Management at the U-M School of Kinesiology, discusses the various ways athletics has been altered by the coronavirus. 

“It’s affected every sport at every level. From the postponement of events as large as the Olympics, to the cancellation of youth sports and college sports,” Wade says. “Sports networks are challenged to find content. There isn’t one level of sports that isn’t affected by this, and the full impact won’t be seen for months or maybe even years.” 

Wade also discusses the fact that with entire seasons being cancelled, many college seniors are facing another difficult reality. Even though student-athletes may be eligible for an additional college season, it might not be a viable option for everyone,  as some have committed to graduate school programs or jobs. 

“Many of the student-athletes I teach are seniors. There has been immense disappointment amongst them that they’re not able to compete; they’re not finishing their season,” Wade says. “This is a time that they can’t get back. Wearing the maize and blue has been such an honor for them. They’ve loved it so much and some of them have realized after the fact that they may have played their last game or match for the maize and blue, and they didn’t know it. There is a sense of longing for that closure.” 

To learn more from Wade about the rippling impacts in sports, and to hear his recommendations for successful teaching and learning from home, listen to the Michigan Minds podcast

You can download and subscribe to Michigan Minds from wherever you listen to podcasts: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify.