by Alex Poletti
Photo by Robert Willett
Panic and terror have run rampant across the nation in light of the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has tanked the stock market, cleared the shelves of supermarkets and canceled the 2020 March Madness tournament. Perhaps no group of people is in more fear than the Duke basketball team, who may have to attend college classes for the first time because the college playoff tournament was called off.
“I don’t really know how to prepare for this,” sophomore Tre Jones says. “I know how to stock up on toilet paper or wash my hands for 20 seconds, but how will I survive in an academic environment? I don’t have enough exposure to this—I’m definitely in a high risk group.”
While many D1 universities, Duke included, swear that their primary focus is on academics, they can’t deny the incredible cash flow that their sports programs bring into the school. As such, players are often not expected to attend class with as much regularity, especially around playoff season, as other students, nor are they expected to take as difficult classes. However, with this year’s tournament canceled, the Duke players may have no choice.
“I don’t know what this elementary algebra shit is,” freshman from Rochester, MN, Matthew Hurt says, “but it’s certainly not what I signed up for. I should be on a flight to the first round right now, but instead I have to accrue basic academic knowledge? This is horse shit.”
While Duke had struggled throughout the season, their outstanding track record and name recognition made them a top pick for many bracketeers entering the tournament. However, March Madness fans got the biggest upset in history, as the entire tournament was eliminated by COVID-19, who wasn’t even ranked heading into the season.
“The coronavirus was more formidable than every team we faced this season,” head coach Mike Krzyzweski says in a rousing speech to his players. “But it also spent a lot more time at university than any of you did. So if COVID-19 can do this well in the college environment, I expect that you all can as well.”
Sources tell The Second String that the Duke players are anxiously hoping that their classes move online. They are especially excited because the NCAA doesn’t cover the cost of WiFi for any of the student-athletes.
*This article is a work of satire. Though certain elements and quotes may be based on true events, this should not be taken as fact.