The two biggest college basketball storylines of the past week raised similarly passionate debates. There was Duke's decision to cancel its remaining nonconference games, which prompted Alabama coach Nate Oats' suggestion that Mike Krzyzewski wanted to shut it down not out of concern for college basketball or its players but because the Blue Devils had lost two of their first four games. Then there was Florida star Keyontae Johnson's horrifying, face-first collapse on the court during the Gators' game against Florida State on Saturday.
The situations were obviously of differing levels of importance, and to be clear, we still don't know the cause of Johnson's collapse, but the conversation surrounding the incidents featured similar questions.
As a result, I reached out to a handful of coaches, not necessarily to weigh in on the Coach K vs. Oats debate (and Oats' subsequent apology) but to gauge the temperature of the sport's most significant burning question: Should we be playing college basketball right now?
"Yes, as long as it's safe," one coach said. "Our team doctors and physicians are not going to put us in bad spots. But if they find out Keyontae had a COVID-19-related heart issue, they need to shut it down. We need to do more testing ... First and foremost is player safety, but we have to trust our doctors. If they think it's safe, we're going to roll with that. But it needs to be looked into and why it happened."