Everyone in the ACU community is extremely proud of the men’s basketball team for not only making it into the March Madness tournament, but beating the University of Texas in the first round. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was an amazing accomplishment for our small program. The mass of students who showed up at the stadium watch party proves that.
When the win against Texas was official, videos of the watch party were immediately posted to social media and all eyes were on ACU. Administration was thrilled for the publicity, but they made one major error: not requiring masks.
Administration was adamant after Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement that masks would no longer be required that ACU would not follow in those footsteps. Masks are still required on campus for classes as well as extracurricular activities, yet masks were “recommended” for the watch party, which could have been a super-spreader event.
Videos quickly spread all over the internet of people crowding in masse, chanting praise for the basketball team. The whole country was ready to celebrate the win with us, but many called into question an administration that would allow students to break the rules for the sake of basketball.
ACU’s Twitter account posted a video of students clumped together in the final seconds of the game, which was followed by more comments condemning the lack of masks and social distancing than congratulations.
Not only did the video call into question ACU’s administration, but many commenters called into question the faith that ACU stands on.
Comments like, “Did y’all think Jesus would protect you from catching/spreading COVID-19? Because that’s…not how incredibly infectious viruses work” and “its beautiful watching all this Christian behavior in the middle of a pandemic” flood the comment section of the video, and that doesn’t even include other posts or other social media platforms.
ACU should be proud of its successes, both academically and athletically. As we enter the public eye with these successes, however, we should be careful to follow the rules that administration has put in place. That day, the whole country should have looked at ACU and seen that we are a force to be reckoned with, not focused on our lack of ability to comply with CDC guidelines and administration’s policies.