.......Although there are those who downplay Covid 19 medical studies as being alarmist or not "peer reviewed" (tough to accomplish given the relative recency of the Pandemic), there are several such studies linking Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle often associated with viral infections, with COVID-19, especially in younger individuals. It is quoted to "come on suddenly, often with significant severity, resulting in an exceptionally high risk of death caused by cardiogenic shock (the heart’s inability to pump enough blood), fatal arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats) and multi-organ failure," according to the American Heart Association.
.......Given these studies, why are we willing to use our children as guinea pigs to see whether they have veracity? As horrible as it sounds, it's too easy to surmise that, just like our government’s rushed attempts at re-opening the economy or to produce an early vaccine (while ignoring the potential health ramifications) to put the best light on the upcoming election, these Conferences, Universities and coaching staffs, while congratulating themselves on their leadership and the need for college football, are really just engaging in a desperate attempt to comply with their television and other contractual obligations so as to secure the massive revenue associated with them…..Given the amounts of money at risk to conferences, schools, coaches and administrative staffs, the "Temptation" for "Adults" to manipulate our student athletes is high…..I was of the belief that the Big 10 and Pac 12 had made the right decision to put off football. I am still of that belief and I see the present "waffling" by these conferences as a potential disaster.
.......College Universities should have as their first priority, to protect the student athlete. That goal cannot be compromised. I love Coach O and was very happy for him when LSU won the National Championship last year. But when I read his comment that "...most of the players on the team already caught Covid 19....", that shook me. Evidently, the SEC has no reporting requirement as to how many players have caught the virus. He has 115 players on his roster. He stated he has five "active" cases. So how many of his players have contracted Covid 19?....70 maybe?.....If this is true it means one of a couple of things: Coach O's football program ignored protocols and implemented the President's "herd mentality" (we assume the President meant "herd immunity"); or his program implemented protocols so poorly, over half his team caught Covid 19 anyway.......In either case, LSU has placed its athletes in a dangerous position (the rest of the SEC has been mysteriously silent as to how many players and/or staff have contracted the virus since they returned to practice or how many "active" cases they have).
.......I hope beyond all hope that we don't have to have a "Hank Gathers" sudden death kind of moment on the football field/television before the College Football Powers That Be (coaching staffs, Universities, the NCAA and even parents) begin to take seriously the Medical Science associated with this disease. One Division II football player has already died from contracting Covid (he succumbed to the virus approximately one month after getting it).....That should have been enough of a "flashing red light" to warn "The Adults" against placing any College or High School athlete in this position of danger. Yes, you can tell me about "Liberty" and "Freedom" and "The Right to Choose" and in many instances I would agree with you....WHEN WE KNOW ALL OF THE FACTS SO THAT A COGENT AND LOGICAL DECISION CAN BE MADE.....Such a decision is not possible when we don't know the facts: such as in the present case where we do not know the residual effects of Covid recovery on a teen's body.
.......It may be that over the next several months, the position I have taken here will be seen as "an alarmist view." I truly hope that this will be the case. My gut tells me, however, that this is going to get a lot uglier before it gets better. Again, I hope I am wrong......