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A college football player whose season was postponed by the virus blames Trump in a new ad.

Seven months into the coronavirus pandemic, America has figured out how to make big-time sports happen. The World Series is taking place in front of a few thousand fans. The N.B.A. crowned a champion last week. Pro football is on TV three days a week, and the top college football leagues are back in action.

But many smaller sports conferences are on hold, and that’s the crux of a new Biden campaign ad.

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Tristen Vance, a linebacker at Northern Arizona University, says that he’s worked his whole life to have a shot at playing professional football, and his dreams were put in jeopardy by the postponement of the fall football season.

“Trump’s failure of leadership is why we can’t play right now,” Mr. Vance says in the ad. “I don’t blame President Trump for the virus, but I 100-percent blame him for the response to the virus.”

This is core of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s argument in his campaign’s final weeks — one he’s repeating in paid advertising and is expected to return to during Thursday’s final debate: that Mr. Trump has mishandled the national response to the coronavirus and can’t be trusted to make things better.

Mr. Vance was hardly a top professional prospect, but the Lumberjacks’ season was moved to the spring, robbing him of whatever chance he had to play his senior college season in time for National Football League scouts to see him before the league’s draft, which is scheduled to start April 29.

The ad first aired during the Monday night game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. The campaign plans to air the ad during upcoming football games.

Mr. Biden is making this election a referendum on Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus. (This ad isn’t the first one from the Biden campaign lamenting the loss of parts of the college football season.) It’s his best card to play, given that Americans believe by wide margins that the former vice president would do a better job handling the virus.


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