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Football Season

Big 12 says it will play 2020 football season this fall, despite Big Ten and Pac-12 postponements – CBS News

Big 12 going ahead with football season


Big 12 going ahead with football season

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The Big 12 board of directors voted Tuesday night to allow their schools to go ahead with the 2020 fall season, the conference announced Wednesday. The conference also released its 2020 football schedule.

“I am very optimistic about moving forward,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Wednesday. “Having said that, however, if we get to a point where we have a crossroads and the information contraindicates going forward, we know that we can pivot quickly to protect student athletes and to do something different if what we’re doing isn’t working.”

During a Tuesday night conference call, the Big 12 presidents and chancellors heard from medical experts before voting, according to CBS Sports. Prior to the call, the presidents appeared to be in favor of playing the season.

“The mindset is it’s too early [to cancel],” a Big 12 source told CBS Sports before the meetings. “Unless the medical folks flip the switch, [we’ll go].”

Bowlsby said the conference would be implementing “enhanced testing,” consisting of three tests per week for football and any other “high contact sports.” He also said players who do test positive and recover will receive proper cardiac care, due to emerging evidence that even those with mild cases of COVID-19 may suffer from heart damage.


One-On-One with Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby on decision to proceed with fall sports by
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The Big 12 conference schedule will begin on September 26, which would typically be the fourth week of the football season. The teams will compete in a 10-game season consisting of 9 conference games and one non-conference game each. The annual Red River Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma will be played at the Cotton Bowl on October 10, despite the previous cancellation of Texas’ state fair.

The SEC is now the only Power Five conference to not release a full schedule or postpone its football season. The conference appears to be leaning strongly in favor of playing, as the commissioner said the conference’s medical advisory board said they could proceed with the fall season, according to CBS Sports. Their season is set to begin September 26.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 both postponed their fall seasons on Tuesday due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The ACC released its schedule August 6, and one official previously told CBS Sports the conference “absolutely” intends to play the season.

Although not part of the Power Five, the Big East also announced on Wednesday that its schools will not hold a fall 2020 season. “The Conference will assess alternative options to stage fall sports contests during the spring of 2021,” the conference said in a statement. The Mid-American Conference, also not a Power Five member, canceled its season Saturday, also saying it would look to make the games up in the spring.

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Football Notre

Two more Notre Dame football players test positive for COVID-19 – Notre Dame Insider









Notre Dame helmet

Two more Notre Dame football players tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The Irish program has totaled four positive tests of the 619 tests administered since the team returned to campus in June.


Tribune File Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN


Two more Notre Dame football players have tested positive for COVID-19, the program announced Wednesday.

Before the Irish took the field for Wednesday’s first practice of preseason camp, both players were isolated. One was mildly symptomatic. The other was asymptomatic. Notre Dame also quarantined seven other asymptomatic players as a result of contact tracing.

The football program’s latest round of testing Monday included 117 players and 43 staff members. Since testing began in June, four players have accounted for positive test results out of the 619 tests administered for a 0.64% positivity rate.

The two players who previously tested positive in June and July recovered and returned to team activities. Notre Dame has not disclosed the identities of the players who have tested positive.

On Wednesday morning before the test results were announced, head coach Brian Kelly and defensive end Daelin Hayes joined the TODAY show to explain why the Irish are pushing forward with football a day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences called off their fall seasons.

The ACC, in which the Irish will compete this season, has yet to back off its previously announced schedule. Notre Dame’s season opener against Duke is set for Sept. 12.

TODAY anchor Craig Melvin asked Kelly and Hayes two questions each during a five-minute segment. No Notre Dame coaches or players were made available to local media on the first day of preseason camp.

Kelly said his team can safely navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with the guidance of medical staff, low rates of positives tests within the team and on campus and the commitment of his players and staff to follow the procedures in place.

“We have enhanced medical care,” Kelly said. “We’re very intentional about what we’re doing, and we believe that we can play safely and care for everybody including our staff now. This is not just about the players. I have over 50 staff members that are put into this situation as well.”

Hayes, a graduate student entering his fifth season with the Irish, made his stance clear Monday by signing an open letter with nine other offseason captains on the team that expressed their desire to play football this fall.

On the TODAY show, Hayes said the medical staff has been readily available and transparent with Notre Dame’s players. That’s why he believes the mental and physical health of the players is in a better place with a season taking place.

“We feel comfortable,” Hayes said. “We feel confident that we can play in a season working in tandem with our coaches and medical staff. Ultimately, it comes down to the players and their decisions every day. Having the incentive to play and the discipline that it requires to be on a team and make the right decisions outside of our bubble, it’s going to honestly fare well for us.”

Melvin pressed Hayes on the criticism that players wanting to play now are focused on pursuing their NFL dream and not the long-term picture.

“Unfortunately, I feel like you’re just as at risk anywhere right now,” Hayes said. “Whether it be going to the grocery store or going out to eat, unfortunately that’s just the reality of our situation. But I would rather take that risk playing the game that I love and fighting for my career once I leave Notre Dame.

“A lot of guys feel that way. A lot of people expressed that sentiment, especially players across the country in their last and/or junior years.”

Once Notre Dame increases physical contact in its practices, the breadth of contact tracing will have to expand. Kelly said his program is prepared for that.

“When you are in contact, there is no other way to look at it but everybody is in contact,” Kelly said. “We understand that we must trust each other. That’s why this is a unique situation where you are putting yourself in a position where you trust the guy next to you. That’s why testing is so important in this process.

“There has to be transparency with the other teams that you’re playing across the board. That when you line up against them, you know that they are following through with the same testing procedures.

“We said that at the outset. This is a difficult process, but it’s one that we’re committed to and one that our players are committed to. Enhanced testing has to be part of this procedure as well.”

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Football UConn

UConn Football Announces Cancellation of 2020 Season Due to Risks Associated With COVID-19 – UConn Huskies

The University of Connecticut Department of Athletics today announced that its football program will cancel all competition for the 2020-21 school year.

“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” director of athletics David Benedict said. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”

Members of the team will remain enrolled in classes, either virtually or in person, as full-time students at UConn.  The team members will also retain access to facilities and support services in accordance with NCAA rules, ensuring that student-athletes remain on track academically and developmentally.      

While the Huskies began spring practice on February 4 and were one of the only teams in the country to complete a full spring schedule, the opportunities to condition and train as a team have been limited in recent months.  The team has been on campus since early July with zero student-athletes testing positive for COVID-19. 

This season’s games against Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi have already been taken off the schedule by those schools’ respective conferences and uncertainty surrounded the contests against North Carolina and Virginia.

“The necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team,” Benedict said. “Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”  

Head football coach Randy Edsall concurred. “We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” Edsall said.  “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”

The football student-athletes offered their thoughts in a statement.  “As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020.  We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season.  We love this game and love competing.  We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”

“I am supportive of this decision and know that it was made in conjunction with and in the best interest of our football student-athletes, University President Thomas Katsouleas said.  “These young men love competing for UConn and our fans love cheering for them on Saturdays.  But the associated health risks are too much to overcome and I agree this is the best course of action.”    

UConn Athletics will be reaching out to season ticket holders and supporters in the coming days to further explain options and provide individualized solutions as needed including full refunds when requested.  Regarding the status of other fall sports, UConn will continue to work with the BIG EAST to chart the best path forward.

“Among all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic for the last several months, our top priority has clearly been and will always be ensuring the health and well-being of our student-athletes, staff and fans,” Benedict continued.  “With that in mind, we concluded that this action was necessary.  Obviously, there are details that need to be addressed but safety was foremost on our minds when making this decision and we know our fans share that same commitment.”

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Football players

Pac-12 football players urge opt-out amid COVID-19 concerns – Fox News

A group of Pac-12 football players on Sunday threatened to opt out of the coming season unless their concerns about competing during the COVID-19 pandemic and other racial and economic issues in college sports are addressed.

The players posted a statement on The Players’ Tribune website and social media with the hashtag #WeAreUnited and sent out a news release. The release listed the names of 12 Pac-12 players from nine schools, including Oregon star safety Jevon Holland, and provided a statement from each one.

The release says hundreds of players throughout the Pac-12 are concerned about the risks of COVID-19 and that the conference and NCAA lack transparency, uniformity and adequate enforcement infrastructure.

The public demands from the Pac-12 players follow a surge in acts of athlete empowerment across college football. Players have called out coaches at Iowa, Oklahoma State and Florida State. At Iowa, a longtime, highly regarded strength and conditioning coach parted ways with the school after complaints from players past and present about a lack of respect for Black players in the program.

Players have led demonstrations, marches and rallies on campuses all over the country to protest racial injustice and police brutality in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.

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Now, as college sports leaders work to salvage a football season being threatened by the pandemic, players are speaking up again.

“We believe a football season under these conditions would be reckless and put us at needless risk,” the players said in their news release. “We will not play until there is real change that is acceptable to us.”

The Pac-12 on Friday released a revised football schedule for the coming season. The new schedule pushes the start of the season back three weeks to Sept. 26 and includes only 10 conference games. Officials across college football anticipate disruptions this season related to COVID-19. The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference also announced plans last week for truncated seasons.

The NCAA has released guidelines for COVID-19 testing and other health and safety protocols to be used by schools. The Power Five conferences — the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC — are finalizing their own version of COVID-19 guidelines, similar to the NCAA’s.

The Pac-12 also announced Friday that 20 hours per week of mandatory team activities for football, including weight training, meetings and unpadded walk-through practices, will be permitted to begin Monday. Preseason football practice for Pac-12 schools may begin Aug. 17.

The states of Arizona and California, home to half the Pac-12 schools, have been hit by some of the most severe surges in COVID-19 cases over the last month. California-Berkeley has announced the fall semester will begin with all classes being taught online. USC said most of its classes will be online for the coming semester.

“Since the system is willing to risk our health and safety in the midst of the global pandemic, we must look out for each other,” Oregon State defensive back Jaydon Grant said in a statement. “With so much uncertainty around COVID, we cannot wait until it strikes the world of college football. We must act now to ensure our safety playing the game we all love, and that is why we are united.”

Pac-12 spokesman Andrew Walker directed requests for comment from the conference to a statement released Saturday.

“Neither the Conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics,” the Pac-12 said. “We support our student-athletes using their voices, and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics.”

The players’ list of demands addresses healthy and safety protections related to COVID-19; protection for all college sports programs from being eliminated by budget cuts; racial injustice in college sports; and economic rights and compensation for college athletes.

“This is important to me because I want to see the young men that are being exploited by the PAC12 & NCAA have the right to earn money for their families,” Holland said in a statement. “I want the safety of my peers lives to be placed higher than the sport they play. If we are treated like employees then we should be compensated as such.”

Among the specifics are:

  • Player-approved health and safety standards enforced by a third party selected by players to address COVID-19 and serious injury, abuse and death.
  • 50% of a sport’s revenue distributed evenly to athletes.
  • Medical insurance for six years after college.
  • Reduced pay of Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, coaches, administrators.
  • 2% of revenue to support financial aid for low-income Black students and community initiatives.
  • Use university endowment funds to protect all college sports. As an example, the players cite Stanford’s recent announcement that it will discontinue 11 varsity sports while the school has an $27 billion endowment.

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The other players listed were:

Treyjohn Butler of Stanford; Jake Curhan, Joshua Drayden and Valentino Daltoso of California; Elisha Guidry of UCLA; Malik Hausman of Arizona; Dallas Hobbs of Washington State; Ty Jones and Joe Tryon of Washington and Cody Shear of Arizona State.

The group said it was united in forming alliances with athletes from other conferences.

“#WeAreUnited in our commitment to secure fair treatment for college athletes,” it said. “Due to COVID-19 and other serious concerns, we will opt out of Pac-12 fall camp and game participation unless the following demands are guaranteed in writing by our conference to protect and benefit both scholarship athletes and walk-ons.”

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Football schedule

SEC football schedule 2020: League will play 10-game, conference-only slate beginning Sept. 26, per reports – CBSSports.com

Watch Now:
Analysis: SEC Reportedly To Move To 10-Game Conference Schedule For Football Season
(7:21)

With college football schedules across the country in flux amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC announced Thursday afternoon that it has moved to a 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season. The SEC is also pushing the start of its season to Saturday, Sept. 26, what was originally scheduled to be Week 4 of the 2020 campaign.

With the shift of the start of its season to Sept. 26, the SEC Championship Game will be pushed back two weeks to Saturday, Dec. 19. This creates flexibility amongst teams with two opportunities for makeup games as the adjusted schedule will feature a midseason bye week for each school and an open date for all programs on Dec. 12, one week before the title game.

It is unknown at this time how the SEC will fill out the additional two games of its conference-only schedule as the revised set of games will be announced by the league at a later date. SEC members traditionally play eight conference games each season: six inside their respective divisions, one permanent cross-division opponent and one rotational cross-division opponent.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said Thursday evening the SEC will maintain its two-division structure and not play the 2020 season as a single division, a model the ACC moved to on Wednesday. He also believes the SEC will factor “competitive fairness” into determining the two additional conference games that each team will play this season.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey explained the conference’s decision in a release:

“This new plan for a football schedule is consistent with the educational goals of our universities to allow for the safe and orderly return to campus of their student populations and to provide a healthy learning environment during these unique circumstances presented by the COVID-19 virus. This new schedule supports the safety measures that are being taken by each of our institutions to ensure the health of our campus communities. …

“We believe these schedule adjustments offer the best opportunity to complete a full season by giving us the ability to adapt to the fluid nature of the virus and the flexibility to adjust schedules as necessary if disruptions occur. It is regrettable that some of our traditional non-conference rivalries cannot take place in 2020 under this plan, but these are unique, and hopefully temporary, circumstances that call for unconventional measures.”

The 14 SEC presidents met virtually on Thursday to come to this scheduling decision one day after the league’s athletic directors proposed sticking with a conference-only model.

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The SEC joins the Big Ten and Pac-12 by deciding to play a conference-only schedule in 2020. The ACC announced Wednesday that it will play an 11-game schedule with 10 intraleague contests and one nonconference game.

It is unknown at this time how the SEC’s decision may affect the ACC’s scheduling plans considering four key nonconference rivalry games (Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Kentucky-Louisville) will be lost by the SEC’s move. Auburn-North Carolina and Arkansas-Notre Dame were other SEC-ACC games scheduled this season. (The Fighting Irish are operating as a full-fledged ACC member in 2020.)

Other marquee nonconference games featuring SEC teams that will be lost this season include LSU-Texas and Tennessee-Oklahoma. (Alabama-USC was previously canceled due to the Pac-12’s scheduling announcement.) The Big 12 has not yet announced any firm plans for its 2020 schedules, though losing those games may affect its decision-making process.

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Football Georgia

Georgia, Georgia Tech want to keep their football game on schedule – Atlanta Journal Constitution

ATHENS — 

The SEC is considering a conference-only schedule for football this fall, but under that plan, Georgia hopes it would be allowed to keep Georgia Tech on the docket as well.

SEC athletic directors met with Commissioner Greg Sankey for eight hours Monday in Birmingham, Ala., to discuss, among other things, scheduling options for a possibly truncated season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 are among Power-5 conferences that have announced they’ll play only intraleague games if the season is played, a scenario that is being considered by the ACC and the Big 12.

If that happens, Georgia is among the SEC schools lobbying to keep its traditional, in-state rivalry intact this year. It’s a scenario the Yellow Jackets are on board with as well.

» MARK BRADLEY: What a spring football season looks like

“I’ve talked to (Tech athletic director) Todd (Stansbury), and he definitely wants to play it,” Georgia AD Greg McGarity said Monday night as he drove back to Athens from Birmingham. “So does FSU and Florida, Clemson and South Carolina and Kentucky and Louisville. The importance of those intrastate rival games was brought up, and you’re talking about travel within the state. So proximity was a key part of that as well.”

Georgia is scheduled to play the Jackets on Nov. 28 in Athens.

The questions, then, are if the SEC follows suit and plays conference-only games, how many games will they play, who plays whom, when would the season commence and when would it be completed?

McGarity said all those scenarios were discussed, and more. The length and depth of that discussion is the reason the SEC adjourned the meeting without resolution and resolved instead to meet at the end of the month.

“We’ll have another look-in at the end of the month and see where things stand,” McGarity said. “Probably the best way to describe it is there are a number of options, and they’re all on the table. But it will be based on what the information tells us at the end of the month.”

The numbers and logistics of dealing with the unrelenting presence of COVID-19 also was a big part of the discussion Monday. That situation has been trending poorly late in the summer, which has given added weight of the prospect of not playing football this year or altering the schedules to play a shorter season later in the year.

Georgia has not shared publicly the number of positive tests its athletes have recorded since returning to campus June 8 for voluntary workouts, but several programs have, and the information has been alarming. Ohio State and North Carolina are among the Power 5 football programs that have shut down voluntary workouts because of the continued presence of the virus in their camps.

But McGarity indicated that the information shared Monday by the SEC’s “return to competition committee,” which includes UGA sports medicine director Ron Courson, was not all bleak. He referred to Sankey’s remarks directed toward the athletes themselves adhering to all safety protocols.

Much of the discussion also was about the safety logistics that will have to be in place for games to be conducted, such as masks, headgear and essential personnel. 

“They’re the voice of expertise and the over-arching message dealt with student-athlete safety and wellness,” McGarity said of the medical experts. “That’s the top priority. So, all these decisions will be based on the medical advice that we receive from this group. But it’s not all as dark as is being portrayed.”

Several scheduling scenarios have been bantered, including playing the eight conference opponents currently on the SEC teams’ schedules, adding two more league opponents, playing a shortened season in consecutive weeks or playing a shortened schedule with off weeks interspersed throughout to allow for testing and recovery in between.

Dr. Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, is expected to share his recommendations for how football games could be conducted from a logistics standpoint later this week.

Meanwhile, McGarity emphasized that the SEC hasn’t closed the door completely on an on-time start for a full season of play.

“I think it’s still possible, but these next 17, 18 days are really critical,” McGarity said. “We just need some positive signs.”

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Football State

Ohio State football could face new threats in reworked Big Ten schedule: Buckeye Take – cleveland.com

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan (17) runs in for a touchdown past Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown (26) during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2src19, in Indianapolis.

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan (17) runs in for a touchdown past Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown (26) during the first half of the Big Ten championship game, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis.AP

COLUMBUS, Ohio — We know Ohio State football will not play Bowling Green, Oregon or Buffalo in 2020 after the Big Ten’s Thursday announcement that it will play only conference games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rest of the Buckeyes’ schedule remains murky. The Big Ten has not announced exactly how many games its football teams will play, nor has it decided whether it will keep the original nine-game conference structure.

As it stands, Ohio State is scheduled to play its customary six Big Ten East opponents and three crossover opponents from the West: Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he favors a 10-game model of conference games. If that simply means adding a road game against one of the other four West Division teams, the Buckeyes’ schedule could receive an intriguing boost.

One of those four teams has the same Oct. 3 schedule opening, plays only four home games compared to OSU’s five. It also happens to be located within a reasonable bus drive, if deemed preferable due to COVID-19 concerns.

That opponent — Purdue — happens to be the biggest thorn in Ohio State’s side among Big Ten teams over the past decade. The Boilermakers have won three of their last six meetings against OSU, with all three victories in West Lafayette. Ohio State fans certainly remember the 49-20 drubbing in 2018.

Rondale Moore, the Boilermakers’ star that day, remains in gold and black. Last year when Moore was injured, receiver David Bell emerged as a freshman All-American. So did defensive end George Karlaftis. Purdue could be lurking as a surprise team in the West after a 4-8 season.

A year ago that breakthrough team from the West was Minnesota. The Golden Gophers waged a populist campaign for a College Football Playoff spot into November before settling for a top-20 finish. Minnesota has a talented quarterback in Tanner Morgan, an All-Big Ten receiver in Rashod Bateman and a coach in P.J. Fleck who has invigorated this program in a short amount of time.

Or maybe the Buckeyes will draw another meeting with Wisconsin. Ohio State has beaten the Badgers in two of the last three Big Ten championship games, along with last season’s 38-7 victory in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes have only played in Madison once since 2012, and Wisconsin’s physical rushing attack potentially plays better there than in Lucas Oil Stadium.

None of those opponents equates to Oregon, which could again be in the playoff conversation. But none of them can be dismissed as a legitimate threat, either.

Or maybe the Buckeyes can get lucky and draw Northwestern, the same team it beat 52-3 in Evanston last season.

Then again, no one has benefited from an abundance of luck in 2020.

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Football Least

At Least 30 LSU Football Players Quarantined Due to COVID-19 Outbreak – Sports Illustrated

Like many in college football, the defending national champions are as well battling a viral outbreak.

At least one-quarter of LSU’s football team was in quarantine this week because of virus-related concerns, multiple sources tell Sports Illustrated, but that number is continuously fluctuating based on test results. At least 30 of LSU’s 115 players have been isolated because they tested positive for COVID-19 or were found to have had contact with those who tested positive.

High-ranking LSU athletic department officials declined comment Saturday, citing medical privacy laws. They referred SI to Shelly Mullenix, the school’s long-time senior associate athletic trainer. In an interview Saturday, Mullenix declined to confirm the numbers of those who have or had been quarantined, but said LSU’s situation was on par with a nationwide uptick in the virus related to the Memorial Day holiday and the widespread mass gatherings from protests. “It’s not surprising we’re seeing the rise right now,” she told SI. “It’s a pandemic. We should not be shocked. The story is that it’s exactly what we said it would be. We were prepared from the get-go for a lot of virus. The good news is we’re seeing subtle virus illness.”

No LSU athlete or staff member has required hospitalization, and very few have experienced effects beyond mild symptoms. Officials are thankful that athletes were on campus, where the school has quick accessibility to testing and results.

A portion of LSU’s football players are quarantined after frequenting a string of nightclubs near the school’s campus called Tigerland. On Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health announced that more than 100 Tigerland bar-goers have tested positive for the virus and warned those who have frequented the establishments to quarantine for at least 14 days. Mullenix is in constant contact with the Louisiana Department of Health, showing health officials team trends, a process that helped reveal the Tigerland bar outbreak.

Infected or potentially infected LSU players have been isolating with roommates in their on-campus apartments, and some of them have continued to participate in modified, outdoor workouts with their own quarantine group, though they are not required to do so. Meanwhile, constant testing is being administered through the contract-tracing process. The school, in fact, got good news Friday night, when test results returned negative for a group of players who had frequented the bars. Mullenix is confident that LSU’s facility safety protocols have worked. None of the positive cases have been traced back to workouts within the facility, but have been contracted in the community, at bars and restaurants. “When you do contact tracing and get some honesty from kids, it’s very easy to see where it came from and what happened,” Mullenix says. “I can talk to them about wearing a mask, but if your mask is under your nose, you’re not wearing a mask.”

LSU was one of a handful of programs that did not initially test all athletes once they returned to campus in early June, only administering the antibody test. That decision did not impact the recent surge, Mullenix says, as LSU’s uptick in cases were a result of gatherings in the Baton Rouge community. The school is aggressively conducting diagnostic testing on those who show symptoms or those who have been found to contact players who tested positive.

LSU officials describe their quarantine method as a “better safe than sorry” approach, isolating those with even a small trace of contact with people who have tested positive. “I’m protecting Baton Rouge from getting a higher viral load. That’s my obligation,” Mullenix says. “The quarantine, while frustrating, prevents community spread.”

The news in Baton Rouge comes on the heels of Clemson announcing that 28 people in the athletic department had tested positive for the virus, including 21 football players and two staff members. Earlier this week, Texas announced that 13 players had tested positive for the virus and that 10 more were in quarantine. Kansas State announced Saturday that it is pausing voluntary workouts for 14 days, after a total of 14 athletes tested positive for COVID-19.

Several schools, including LSU, are not announcing their positive test totals. According to reported numbers and announcements, more than 60 Division I players have tested positive with more than 100 in isolation or quarantine. The true numbers, though, are much higher. Medical staff members from various schools are in constant communication, sharing information with one another. Mullenix says LSU’s situation isn’t vastly different than other programs.

A return to on-campus workouts brought with it a fear that is now being realized: Athletes are contracting the virus while attending social gatherings when outside of their school’s sanitized facility. That’s becoming the case at LSU. “People are human. When you’re told you can go back out, you’ve been locked up for so long, there’s really not a middle ground,” Mullenix says. “Right thing to do is put on your mask, go to those places and pick up your order. We’re so desperate to socialize because we’re humans. It’s hard to pull back from that.”

An athletic director at another SEC school, for instance, told SI on Friday that several of his football players contracted the virus through a game of cards. The college environment presents a challenge unlike the professional levels, but Mullenix says she remains hopeful that a 2020 football season will be played. “I don’t know that I feel worse than I did two months ago—I feel better,” she says. “What I understand from my colleagues around the country and just sharing the numbers is that we’re doing really well. No one is getting really ill and hospitalized. I could see where the train of thought could be, ‘We seem to be moving through this virus.’ For every day, we are learning more information. Part of me feels good. If we were seeing no virus and knew the virus was spiking everywhere, that would not be good.”

LSU’s in-facility protocols are intense. Players enter the football facility through one entrance while coaches enter through another. Infrared cameras read players’ temperatures before each athlete meets with a trainer for a lengthy questionnaire. If cleared, they are handed a bracelet giving them freedom to move around the facility. This process repeats each day. Mullenix says that roughly two-thirds of cases have been caught because of fever.

Mullenix’s chief concern is asymptomatic players returning home to visit their families, potentially infecting their older relatives. LSU is encouraging all players to remain on campus over the weekend. In a more global expectation, Mullenix hopes the virus “moves through” college athletics. Experts are seeing that those who contract the virus a second time are only shedding for one to two days as opposed to their first infection, which can shed up to two weeks. “It is at a high contagion right now. It’s a trend,” Mullenix says. “They’re seeing that in the hospital as well. There’s an uptick. We’re coming off holidays and protests. All those things add to it.”

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Football Hawkeye

Hawkeye football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle put on administrative leave follow claims of ‘racial disparities’ – KCRG

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) – University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz announced Saturday evening that football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation following claims of ‘racial disparties’ by former Hawkeye players.

This comes less than 24 hours after former Hawkeye center – and current Chicago Bears offensive lineman – James Daniels posted to Twitter Friday saying, “There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.”

There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long.

— James Daniels (@jamsdans) June 6, 2020

Doyle joined Iowa’s football program for Ferentz’s first year as head coach, in 1999. USA TODAY reported, last year, that Doyle’s $800,000 salary made him the nation’s highest-paid strength and conditioning coach in college football.

Ferentz released a video announcing the decision to put Doyle on leave calling it a “defining moment for the Iowa Hawkeye football program”

This is a defining moment for the Iowa Hawkeye Football program: pic.twitter.com/ckEH39QVki

— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 6, 2020

Following Daniels tweet, other former Hawkeye players shared their experiences. Among those is Toren Young, a former Hawkeye running back, who said, “If you are a black player you quickly learn to conform to white culture (when in the building) at Iowa and if you don’t. You won’t make it very long”.

Several of the tweets single out coach Chris Doyle.

Starting with @coach_Doyle !!!!!!!!!!!!!

— HaitianQ (@__haitianprince) June 6, 2020

Coach Ferentz is one of the reasons I committed to Iowa as a high school senior. He cares, and he gets it.

However, for this program in particular, real change begins with @coach_Doyle and his Strength & Conditioning staff. https://t.co/MuSRAfABbq

— Faith Ekakitie (@Faith_Joseph) June 5, 2020

“I am saddened to hear these comments from some of our former players,” Ferentz said in a statement. “While I wish they had reached out to us directly, I am thankful that these players decided to share their experiences now. As I said earlier this week, the best way to affect change is by listening. I have started reached out to them on an individual basis to hear their stories first hand.”

Ferentz added, “Making change that matters involves an open dialogue and possible some tough conversations. I am glad to have the opportunity to do just that. As a staff and as leaders, we will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.”

“As a staff and as leaders, we will listen and take to heart the messages we hear.” pic.twitter.com/wqg2ZoX8pk

— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) June 6, 2020

Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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asteroid Football

An asteroid the size of six football fields will speed by Earth Saturday night – CNN

(CNN)An asteroid estimated to be the size of six football fields will whiz past Earth Saturday night — but no, you’re not in danger.

Asteroid 2002 NN4 will pass by Earth on Saturday at 11:20 p.m. ET, NASA says. At an estimated diameter of up to 1,870 feet, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies, it’ll definitely seem like a big one.
But, it’ll be about 3.2 million miles away from our planet, 13 times further away than the moon, NASA says, so there’s truly no reason to worry.
And these kinds of occurrences are pretty normal. Last August, an asteroid estimated to be about the same size as 2002 NN4 passed by Earth, and experts at the time called it moderately sized.
And, this asteroid is less than a mile long. The biggest known asteroid that orbits the sun is a whopping 21 miles long, Lindley Johnson of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office told CNN last year.
Still, the probability of an asteroid actually hitting Earth is pretty slim — occurring once every two or three centuries, Johnson said at the time.
In 2013, a meteor just 55 feet in diameter broke through the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia. The meteor didn’t actually make impact with the planet, but the blast still injured more than 1,000 people.
Being millions of miles away, that shouldn’t be the case with 2002 NN4. So you can spend Saturday evening relaxing, knowing that an asteroid is in fact not coming to blast us. Today, at least.
The next time 2002 NN4 will be anywhere near this close to us is in June 2029.

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