ESPN’s Doris Burke opens up about COVID-19 struggle, NBA’s resumption concerns
When asked about the challenges the NBA will face as it attempts to mount a comeback next month, Burke didn’t mince words.“The thing that I felt the most was fatigue and headache,” Burke said about having coronavirus. “So for a good stretch of the first two weeks of that, I was just thinking I had a bad flu, because my symptoms were not aligning with what was being told were the main symptoms — the shortness of breath, the pressure on the chest — I didn’t have those scary symptoms. So for a good stretch of time, I didn’t think I had it. But then I finally decided to get tested.
Twenty-six of the football players at Kentucky’s three Football Bowl Subdivision schools are listed at 300 pounds or more.
Every one of them is obese as defined by the body mass index tables of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every one of them, therefore, is at elevated risk of COVID-19.
So before America’s universities resume a high-contact sport pervasively played by enormous people, it’s worth asking how high a price they are prepared to pay. It’s worth asking whether football’s entertainment value and financial benefits outweigh the welfare of its players.
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These are questions that have been largely glossed over in the frantic search for conditions that can make football feasible during a pandemic. The stated goal is to follow protocols that make the game as safe as possible. Unstated, but no less pertinent, is whether the game can be made safe enough to survive the season.
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Perhaps that’s not sufficiently optimistic to suit Rand Paul, but University of Illinois computer science professor Sheldon Jacobson has told CBS Sports to expect a 30-50% infection rate among the Football Bowl Subdivision’s 13,000 players, with between three and seven deaths attributable to COVID-19.
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Antetokounmpo thinks the 2019-20 NBA title will the be hardest one to win.With players having to quarantine in Orlando and follow numerous guidelines in order to get back to playing, Giannis told reporters on Wednesday that he believes this year’s championship will be the “toughest championship you can ever win.
“A few of them could end up in the hospital, and you’ll have a small number who could die,” Jacobson said. “I don’t want to sugar coat for you. I just want to give you the facts. ... If everybody comes together under normal circumstances, we’ll probably see that kind of outcome.”
In a word, yikes.
Already, several schools have decided to take a football sabbatical rather than tempt fate this fall: Division II Morehouse College and Division III’s Bowdoin College and Rensselaer Polytechnic.
At least three Power Five conference schools — LSU, Clemson and Texas — have had 20 or more players test positive or quarantined. And that’s been during “voluntary” workouts, before organized contact drills.
“How can we go forward with a season, given what we know about the virus, and think we won’t accelerate transmission?” Morehouse President David Thomas asked in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts gushes about Jusuf Nurkic ahead of NBA resumption
Stotts also said that Nurkic will 'in all likelihood' be starting next to Carmelo Anthony but could possibly even start alongside fellow big man Hassan Whiteside.Speaking with the media Wednesday, Stotts raved about the Bosnian big’s physical condition and said he was ready for the NBA’s resumption in Orlando.
The Ivy League is reportedly considering two scenarios. One would limit its 2020 season to seven conference games. The other would shift that condensed schedule to April and May.
With numerous states experiencing significant spikes in coronavirus cases, and no solution in sight, prudence demands that caution take priority over commercial considerations. Since college athletes do not draw a salary in return for the risks they assume, extreme caution would seem appropriate.
Wednesday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster warned that he will not lift a state ban on spectator sports, "if these numbers continue to rise and the danger persists."
"I can’t do it. I won’t do it,” McMaster said. “This fall will not be like other falls. We will not be able to have college football. We will not be able to have high school football.”
There is no guarantee, of course, that a spring season would be safer. There is no guarantee that delaying the start of the season until next spring will produce a vaccine or allow for additional attendance.
It would surely disrupt football’s normal flow, playing havoc with spring practice and potentially squeezing two seasons into a troublingly tight window.
Does Blue Jays being over 60-man limit suggest more positive COVID-19 tests?
Toronto originally announced a player pool with 58 names, so the addition of these four will put them over the limit. However, as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi tweets, a team can exceed 60 players if exceptions need to be made due to positive COVID-19 tests. It’s likely, then, that the Jays either have had additional positives in the organization that will remove some players from the 60-man pool or that additional transactions are coming Thursday. Notably, the MLB.
Still, if postponement can ease the burden on medical professionals and testing supplies while buying time for science to find answers, those considerations probably ought to outrank short-term financial concerns and the preservation of traditional timetables.
“Every safe option should be considered, knowing the impact that football has on college athletics,” University of Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said Wednesday. “If the time comes, I’m sure that option will be formally vetted for safety as much as economics.”
Athletic departments are so dependent on football that any delay, interruption or revenue shortfall can carry ruinous ripples. The University of Michigan is projecting a $51.6 million revenue decline for the 2020 fiscal year. The University of Connecticut, which reported a $42 million athletic deficit before the virus hit, dropped four sports last week.
Pressure to maintain cash flow will likely influence whatever decisions get made about college football in 2020. It would be shameful if it should cause universities to gamble with the health of their athletes.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Opinion: College football should consider punting its season until the spring
NHL, NHLPA hoping to finalize CBA, return-to-play agreement Saturday? .
The NHL and NHLPA are hoping that they will finalize a six-year CBA agreement Saturday along with a tentative agreement on Phase 3 and 4 protocols as well as a critical calendar.Assuming the new CBA is agreed upon, it would need to be ratified by the Board of Governors and the full membership of the NHLPA, where the players would get 72 hours, starting Monday.