You knew something like this was probably coming.
As my teammates and coaches are aware, I have decided to opt out of participating in the 2020 college football season. This was a very difficult decision and certainly one that I did not make without immense contemplation.
— Oren Milstein (@orenmilstein) August 3, 2020
Oren Milstein was a graduate transfer from Columbia who was slated for placekicking duties at Vanderbilt in the 2020 season, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s not going to compete this season.
As an aside — who is opting out of the season is actually extremely telling. Milstein already has a degree from Columbia and I’m guessing Vanderbilt will honor his scholarship for this year as he works on a graduate degree. There’s a reason why MLB players who have opted out have disproportionately been veterans who have already made a ton of money rather than young players making the league minimum, and there’s a reason why a college football player opting out of the season would be a graduate transfer from an Ivy League school who probably doesn’t have a professional future playing football.
That’s not to suggest that Milstein’s reasons for opting out are invalid, but rather to highlight an inherent inequity in all of this: guys who don’t want to risk having their scholarship cut because they either can’t afford to go to college without it, or guys who are angling to play in the NFL, are the ones who are going to risk exposure to the virus. (By the same token, guys who are basically guaranteed to be first-round NFL Draft picks, no matter what happens, may well decide it isn’t worth the risk, either.)