Field “rush” to COVID-19


Associated Press

Thousands of fans rush the field after Notre Dame’s victory against Clemson.

Saturday’s football game between the number-one ranked Clemson Tigers and Notre Dame proved to be an exciting game, but the aftermath has gotten more than just Clemson fans upset.

College football this year has looked very different than previous years. Some teams in football conferences like Pac-12 and MAC delayed the start of their season, while other teams in conferences like the ACC and SEC decided to play with new guidelines and restrictions. 

Those that felt as though football should have been cancelled this year saw their worst fear come true when thousands of students rushed the field after Notre Dame’s double overtime win. A little more than 11,000 fans, most of them students, attended Saturday’s game. 

Many students on the field could be seen with no masks, or with their masks pulled down, as they rushed the field to celebrate. 

This mass gathering comes as the US surpasses 10 million coronavirus cases as of Monday, Nov. 9. This also comes as the US continues to set records for the number of new COVID cases reported in one day. 

According to a recent article by AP News, Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, told students in an email Sunday night that all students are required to undergo coronavirus testing before they leave campus for the extended winter break. According to university officials, students who do not complete their test, or leave town before they receive their results, will not be allowed to register for classes. 

Junior Haydyn Foulke feels that mass gatherings like these are “definitely concerning and frustrating.” Foulke also feels as though “we should have been done with all this by now” and although she understands why “people miss being in large groups,” she also understands that large gatherings “put a lot of people at risk” and in danger. She describes the aftermath of the football game as “pretty reckless.”

Although some Guilford students like Foulke do not approve of the after-game field rush, others, like first-years Amar Aykins and Nico Clark, feel differently. 

Aykins was supposed to play football this year at Guilford and thinks that rushing the field is “a fun experience.” He sees no problem with the fact that football season was allowed to continue this year and thinks that “as long as they keep all the precautions, that’s all that matters.” 

First-year Nico Clark feels similarly. Clark was supposed to play baseball this year at Guilford and says that COVID has “affected (their) workouts.” In terms of the fans rushing the field, Clark “can see why (the fans) did it” but thinks that it was “not smart with COVID right now.” He says it was “probably not good for spreading COVID,” but he “can see where (the fans) were coming from.” Like Aykins, Clark agrees that football season “shouldn’t have been cancelled” and thinks that “they are doing (well) with the precautions they have in place.” 

Some of these precautions include limited seating at football games in which tickets are sold only to students, staff, faculty and family members of players. The team also has strict testing protocols for players and coaches.

 As football season continues, many realize that while students are lacking the social interactions that many crave, fans of football must follow all safety guidelines in order to continue to keep other fans, players and coaches safe during this scary time.

 Notre Dame is set to play Boston College Saturday, Nov. 14, and UNC on Friday, Nov. 27. Hopefully the fans of these games will learn from the events at the Notre Dame vs. Clemson game and follow all the necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe end to an unusual football season.