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Kansas City native reflects on a decision that could affect all of college football


College conferences around the country are assessing how to move forward with fall sports, if it's even possible at all.

On July 9 the Ivy League became the first school to cancel all sports this fall.

Jackson Heath plays football for Columbia University in New York City. The Kansas City native said the way he found out about the cancelation was not ideal.

"“Bleacher Report leaked the official statements before we even got to hear our live Zoom call with our director,” Heath said.

The tight end said he had no idea what the school had planned until the information was released on Thursday.

"You dedicate so much of your resources and energy to something that you feel like you deserve, in some ways, a face-to-face conversation or to hear it first," he said.

Heath said for the past three months he and his teammates were left wondering what was next.

"It really, really messed with me, especially during quarantine," he said. "So not having the season, or having the season so late, it becomes kind of depressing because you plan and you dream about playing on the field with your buddies and, as of right now, we don't eve know if we will be playing in the spring depending on the situation."

In March, the Ivy League became the first conference to cancel both it's men's and women's basketball tournaments. Then, just days later, the rest of the conferences followed suit, all ending with the NCAA's decision.

Since the Ivy's decision, both the Big Ten and Pac-12 have decided to only play in-conference games.

Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk said that is an option all SEC schools are considering, as well.

"We've looked at about 12 different models of what we could do, so depending on what occurs we will make adjustments on that," Sterk said.

Mizzou Athletics said it still aims to have a decision by the end of July.

As for Heath, he said while he understands the decision to cancel football, it still crushing.

"It hurts my heart," he said.

College Sports / Sports Feature
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.


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