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Big 10 Big ten College Football Coronavirus Intelwars Pac-12 Sports

Big Ten Conference reverses itself, votes to bring back college football during pandemic

It’s official. Big Ten college football will return in October.

The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors announced Wednesday after a unanimous vote that the conference’s football season will resume on the weekend of Oct. 23-24. The announcement follows reports that a proposal had been approved for the league to resume play and a hot mic moment from the University of Nebraska’s president suggesting an announcement was imminent.

Each school is to play eight games in a nine-week window, with the league title game tentatively set for Dec. 19, the Journal Sentinel reported. The decision on whether fans will be able to attend the games will likely be left up to individual schools.

In August, the Big Ten voted to postpone all college sports, including football, because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors soon followed suit, also voting to postpone its own fall sports season.

The Big Ten’s statement announcing the resumed play indicates student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and anyone else on the field for practice and games will undergo daily antigen testing for COVID-19. The decision to play was reportedly made after hours of deliberation Sunday afternoon in cooperation with the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force, a team of medical experts that established rules and procedures to maintain the health and safety of the teams.

“Everyone associated with the Big Ten should be very proud of the groundbreaking steps that are now being taken to better protect the health and safety of the student-athletes and surrounding communities,” Dr. Jim Borchers, the head team physician at Ohio State University and co-chair of the Return to Competition Task Force medical subcommittee, said.

“Our focus with the Task Force over the last six weeks was to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes. Our goal has always been to return to competition so all student-athletes can realize their dream of competing in the sports they love,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. “We are incredibly grateful for the collaborative work that our Return to Competition Task Force have accomplished to ensure the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches and administrators.”

Daily testing for football will begin by Sept. 30. Other Big Ten college sports will also require testing protocols before they may return to play. The Big Ten will soon announce updates on men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, wrestling, and other winter sports.

The Pac-12 is also in discussion to return to play this year. ESPN reported that the “most aggressive” return plan is looking at mid-to-late November to see play return. The Pac-12 has partnered with Quidel Corporation, an FDA-approved rapid tests manufacturer, to prepare to test student-athletes daily for the coronavirus. However, schools in California and Oregon are dependent on state public officials to be cleared to resume play.

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Big ten College Football COVID-19 Heart inflammation Intelwars Myocarditis Penn State Wayne sebastianelli

One-third of Big Ten athletes with COVID-19 have heart inflammation, Penn State doctor says

Penn State’s director of athletic medicine said Monday that roughly one-third of Big Ten athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 have heart inflammation, according to the Centre Daily Times.

Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli said during a State College Area school board of directors meeting that 30% to 35% of the infected athletes showed signs of myocarditis on their MRIs. Concern over the condition was at least part of the reason the Big Ten canceled its fall football season.

“When we looked at our COVID-positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, 30% to roughly 35% of their heart muscles (were) inflamed,” Sebastianelli said, the Centre Daily Times reported. “And we really just don’t know what to do with it right now. It’s still very early in the infection. Some of that has led to the Pac-12 and the Big Ten’s decision to sort of put a hiatus on what’s happening.”

Myocarditis, Sebastianelli said, can have a noticeable impact on an athlete’s performance capacity, and can be potentially fatal if it is not treated in a timely manner.

“You could have a very high-level athlete who’s got a very superior VO2 max and cardiac output who gets infected with COVID and can drop his or her VO2 max and cardiac output just by 10%, and that could make them go from elite status to average status,” Sebastianelli said. “We don’t know that. We don’t know how long that’s going to last.

“What we have seen when people have been studied with cardiac MRI scans — symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID infections — is a level of inflammation in cardiac muscle that is just alarming,” Sebastianelli continued.

The Big Ten released its fall football schedule on Aug. 5, with plans for a 10-game season beginning in early September. Six days later, the conference totally changed course, canceling the fall season and expressing hope that they could play in the spring.

At the time of the cancellation, Commissioner Kevin Warren explained to ESPN that concerns over testing and contact tracing capacity, as well as an increased number of cases, led to the cancellation.

“Trends have not improved, they’ve become worse,” Warren told ESPN in August. “You add that up, and you’re getting ready to go into more formal practice, it’s just a level of not only concerns, but unknown risks are large. When you’re dealing with the health of human beings, it’s serious.”

Between the release of the schedule and the sudden cancelation, a notable report came out — a report published by ESPN one day before the cancelation detailing concerns about myocarditis, which at that time had been found in five Big Ten athletes.

Interestingly, while Warren has canceled football for the Big Ten, his own son is set to play this fall at Mississippi State. The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 conferences did not cancel their fall schedules.

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Big ten College Football COVID-19 Gretchen Whitmer Intelwars University Of Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reportedly blocking Michigan from playing fall football season

The Big Ten has cancelled its fall football season, and the conference’s official stance is to look toward a possible spring season (although there are a number of major problems with that plan). Still, some schools within the conference are trying to find a way to play in the fall, as three other Power Five conferences (SEC, Big 12, ACC) plan to.

Ohio State reporter Jeff Snook broke the following news Tuesday:

Athletic Director Gene Smith, with the full support of school president-elect Kristina Johnson, has been working behind the scenes for the past six days to organize fellow Big Ten conference athletic directors in convincing at least five other university presidents to move forward with a 10-game season to be played among six teams, a source familiar with the movement told me today.

In this proposed format, each team would play the other five Big Ten teams who are participating twice — once at home and once on the road, beginning on either Sept. 26 or Oct. 3. The season would conclude by mid-December and there would no Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.

Michigan is reportedly supposed to be one of the six schools involved in this plan, but Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, architect of one of the most severe COVID-19 lockdowns in the nation, is allegedly opposed to football in the state as things stand now.

“I also was also told that one roadblock to the new plan is the fact that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vehemently opposed to football being played—at the high school and college level – in the state this fall,” Snook reported.

Whitmer is on record in months past as saying there needs to be a widely available vaccine and mass quantities of tests available to determine when “we have some immunity built up.” The most optimistic estimates for when a vaccine might be available point to the end of the year.

Michigan is still limiting indoor gatherings to 10 or fewer people, and bars are are closed for indoor service. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 or fewer people.

Whitmer’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

(H/T Outkick)

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Brian hainline College Football College sports Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars NCAA Ncaa chief medical officer

‘No way we can go forward with sports’ with current COVID-19 testing capability, top NCAA doctor says

Many of the top college football decision-makers are split about whether to have a season this fall, but the NCAA’s chief medical officer said there is “no way” any sports should be played in the fall with the current COVID-19 testing capability in the U.S.

What’s this about? The NCAA has canceled its fall championships. College football, however, operates separately from the NCAA’s authority, so several major conferences still intend to play football next month, even though other conferences have canceled the fall season.

NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline told CNN that the speed and availability of COVID-19 testing is not sufficient for a safe season.

“The pathway to play sports is so exceedingly narrow right now,” Hainline said during a late-night CNN interview. “Everything would have to line up perfectly. … Right now, if testing in the US stays the way it is, there’s no way we can go forward with sports.”

Testing issues: Hainline said that discussions from the spring about how sports could eventually return assumed that over the course of the next several months, there would be an effective national testing and contact tracing strategy that would allow schools to better manage the risks of COVID-19.

With the start of the fall football season just weeks away, the availability of testing varies from state to state, as does the speed with which people can get their results back. In higher-volume areas such as New York City, there have been reports of a two-week delay in getting results back — which makes the test almost worthless, considering many people will recover from the virus within that time frame.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a rapid saliva test on an emergency basis, and the NBA has used the tests in its return. But those tests are not widely available enough for them to be a viable option for college sports any time soon.

Fighting for the season: The Big Ten and Pac-12, two of college football’s elite conferences that have canceled the fall season, are hoping to play in the spring, although it’s unclear how that will work if other conferences are playing in the fall.

Ohio State University quarterback Justin Fields initiated a petition on behalf of Big Ten players to bring the season back.

“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season,” the petition reads. “Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt out of playing a fall season to do so without penality [sic] or repercussion.”

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Big 10 College Football Covid shutdown COVID-19 Intelwars Iowa hawkeyes

Commentary: The move to cancel college football makes no sense

There’s a group of Iowa Hawkeye football parents who are fighting back with some questions. Questions any reasonable person would have after being told their kids can’t play Division 1 football this fall when another right down the road — Iowa State — appears to be ramping up to do exactly that.

Why haven’t the Big Ten power brokers communicated with the players or parents on the way to making such a drastic decision?

Why did that drastic decision need to be made now when three other major football conferences are giving it everything they’ve got to proceed?

How does it make sense that regular students will return to campus classes and dorms with far fewer overall protections than athletes have yet sports is the thing getting canceled?

Why are the reasons for shutting down so vague? What are all these “unknowns” you are all panicking about? What aren’t you telling us? Why should we trust you about playing in the spring when we can’t seem to trust you now?

And have you considered that the risks of not playing for these young, healthy individuals — on whom the virus has been statistically demonstrated to have less impact than the flu — may outweigh those from taking the field because of the loss of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and possible professional advancement?

Among those asking the questions is a dad who is a doctor and a mom who is a nurse. And whether they really believe they can turn this ridiculous decision around or not, we should all have their back for simply refusing to have “the experts” pee on them and tell them it’s raining.

Yet despite airing their concerns as parents last week, the overwhelming sentiment in sports talk seems to be that the possibility of reversing a decision of such magnitude seems to be beyond imagining. How about we check the deranged mental math on that. So no matter how badly a situation is handled, the larger the magnitude or impact of the decision in question makes it even more likely that such a decision must be adhered to at all costs?

The Peter Principle lives. “If it’s dumb, do it” seems to be the mission statement here.

Well, as the great prophet Nick Fury once said: “I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it’s a stupid-a** decision, I’ve elected to ignore it.”

Amen, amen I say to you.

For goodness’ sake, we live in a world where we’ve been misled by one of the chief medical officers in the country, Lord Anthony Fauci, for months. A world where lockdowns have ignored economic catastrophe, scientific reality and the degradation of liberties at a pornographic level while elevating BLM rioters to the status of Rosa Parks.

Dare I say then that one lesson all of us, who don’t have our heads permanently stuck in our backsides, should have learned by now is that there are some gigantically bad decisions the “experts” are making. So we’d be really dumb not to at least question them before bestowing infallibility once more.

None of this makes any damn sense. None. And the minute we start accepting that as our lot in life, we lose way more than football.

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Big 10 College Football Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars NCAA Power 5

College football is in jeopardy with at least one major conference reportedly voting to cancel fall season

The Big Ten, one of college football’s elite “Power Five” conferences, has voted to cancel the fall football season because of COVID-19 health and safety concerns, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Presidents for the conference’s 14 universities reportedly voted 12-2 to cancel the fall season, with Iowa and Nebraska as the two schools that voted to play, according to sources who spoke to the Free Press anonymously because they weren’t authorized to talk about it publicly yet.

A heart condition linked to COVID-19 has been found in five Big Ten athletes, reportedly fueling concerns about whether the season should be played.

The Big Ten bailing on the fall season could be the first major domino to fall that leads other top schools or conferences to make the same decision, although there is not unanimity among the five conferences about how to go forward. Some want to go forward with the fall, others favor pushing the season to the spring in hopes that the pandemic will be more under control by then.

The Mid-American Conference, which is not in the Power Five, became the first school in the Football Bowl Subdivision to cancel its season.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that it was told by another Big Ten source that no final decision has been made regarding cancellation of the season.

Despite the vote from the presidents, players and coaches from around the country, including from Big Ten schools that voted to cancel, have publicly expressed their desire to play. Some have argued that players are actually safer within the confines of a controlled campus athletics environment than they would be at home.

“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban told ESPN. “I know I’ll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2% positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of July. It’s a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar or just hanging out.”

The potential for some Power Five conferences to cancel fall seasons has led to speculation that schools that want to play may attempt to switch conferences and join other schools that want to go forward with the season, although such movement could be prohibited under contractual agreements.

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College Football COVID-19 Intelwars season trump Wewanttoplay

College football players declare ‘#WeWantToPlay’ amid reports the season could be canceled

College football players are pushing a viral campaign declaring “#WeWantToPlay” as numerous reports circulated Monday warning that the entire season could be scrapped due to concerns over COVID-19.

What are the details?

ESPN reported that on Sunday night, a dozen players from all five major conferences released a video in solidarity calling for the season to go on, while also stating that “players should have the chance to opt out of the upcoming football season and that they should be guaranteed another year of eligibility whether they play this season or not.”

The statement was shared on Twitter by Heisman Trophy-candidate and Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who the outlet
explained “has been outspoken about his desire to play what would probably be his final collegiate season.”

President Donald Trump retweeted the message, writing, ‘The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled. #WeWantToPlay.”

Other Republicans also joined in the football players’ campaign, with Ohio
Rep. Jim Jordan tweeting, “America needs college football.” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse — a former university president, himself — even penned a letter to the presidents in the Big Ten conference, urging them not to cancel the season.

“Life is about tradeoffs,” Sasse wrote. “There are no guarantees that college football will be completely safe — that’s absolutely true. But the structure and discipline of football programs is very likely safer than what the lived experience of 18- to 22-year-olds will be if there isn’t a season.”

Sasse’s letter was sent the same day Nebraska head coach
Scott Frost told reporters, “Our University is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is.”

But the
Detroit Free Press cited multiple unnamed sources reporting that presidents of the Big Ten schools “voted 12-2 to end the season,” although the conference denied that any official tally had yet occurred.

The Washington Examiner pointed to sportscaster Dan Patrick disclosing that he had been told “the Big 10 and Pac-12 will cancel their football seasons tomorrow…The ACC and the Big 12 are on the fence. And the SEC is trying to get teams to join them for a season.”

As far the SEC goes, it appears Ole Miss is on board to play. Head coach Lane Kiffin tweeted, “Our players want to play! Our staff wants to coach them! I’m so proud of our team #WeWantToPlay.”

Anything else?

Last Wednesday, the University of Connecticut , which last month officially left the American Athletic Conference, cancelled its football season because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, on Saturday, the Mid-American Conference presidents voted to postpone the fall sports season. Monday night, the Mountain West Conference announced it is postponing its fall sports season.

The 2020 college football schedule kicks off in Week Zero on Saturday, Aug. 29.

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College Football Gary patterson Intelwars n-word NCAA racial slur Tcu Texas christian university

College football coach apologizes for using N-word while telling a player to stop saying it

Texas Christian University head football coach Gary Patterson apologized for using a racial slur Sunday while telling a player to stop saying the word, ESPN reported.

TCU linebacker Dylan Jordan publicized Patterson’s use of the N-word in a Twitter post. Some players reportedly skipped Monday’s practice in response to the incident.

“I met with our seniors and leadership council last night about how we move forward as a team, together,” Patterson said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We are committed as individuals and as a program to fighting racial injustice of any kind.

“I apologize for the use of a word that, in any context, is unacceptable,” Patterson’s statement continued. “I have always encouraged our players to do better and be better and I must live by the same standards.”

According to Jordan, Patterson upset him by making fun of him in front of teammates during practice for posting a picture of his girlfriend online for National Girlfriend Day. When Jordan confronted Patterson about it later, Jordan said Patterson called him a “f***ing brat” and threatened to send him back to his hometown of Pittsburg, Kansas.

In Jordan’s recounting of the incident, he asked Patterson what he did wrong. That’s when Patterson reportedly accused Jordan of using the racial slur in the team meeting room, and Patterson used the word in the process.

Senior tight end Artayvious Lynn posted a statement online saying that while he has experienced racism at TCU, neither Patterson nor any other coach has ever called him the N-word.

“We were in the locker [room] with Coach [Patterson] discussing ways to move forward,” Lynn wrote. “I feel he understood that he couldn’t say the word regardless. We also asked coach to quit saying, ‘I don’t see color,’ because he has to see it. We living in hard times for black people right now. We must continue to demand change. … Trying to get over 400 years of trauma isn’t an easy task, we must all be open minded and mindful of each other period.”

There is no indication that Patterson will face any discipline for the incident. The university chancellor called it a “teachable moment.”

“He said it trying to ask the players not to use it anymore,” Chancellor Victor Boschini wrote, according to ESPN. “He has since apologized for doing so in this manner and said it was a teachable moment for him and many others.”

TCU is located in Fort Worth, Texas.

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College Football Gator bait Gators Intelwars Race Racism University of florida

University of Florida to ban ‘Gator Bait’ cheer at games over alleged racist history

The University of Florida announced Thursday that it is banning the school’s famous “Gator Bait” cheer from all future sporting events, ESPN reported. But the player who made the chant popular is none too thrilled with the school’s edict.

For the last 20 to 25 years, “Gator Bait” has been a common chant from gator fans in response to a song played by the school’s band. But no more.

According the outlet, school President Kent Fuchs said the cheer will be forbidden because of “history racist imagery associated with the phrase.”

Has there been a problem with racism and that cheer at Gator games? Not according to Fuchs.

“While I know of no evidence of racism associated with our ‘Gator Bait’ cheer at UF sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase,” Fuchs said, ESPN reported. “Accordingly, University Athletics and the Gator Band will discontinue the use of the cheer.”

So what’s behind Fuchs’ reasoning?

According to Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, black babies were used as alligator bait — though it doesn’t seem to have been a common practice:

It isn’t really a question of whether African American babies were used as alligator bait, but the question is how frequent was the practice?

During slavery and the Jim Crow era in the United States, African Americans were brutalized and mistreated in almost every way imaginable. If there was a way to kill, maim, oppress, or use an African American for any reason, it more than likely happened. If the skin from an African American might be used for leather shoes or handbags, (see Human Leather), then pretty much all atrocities were possible and probable.

African American babies being used as alligator bait really happened, and it happened to real people. It doesn’t seem to have been a widespread practice, but it did happen.

The site also gives some specific historical examples:

In 1908 the Washington Times reported that a keeper at the New York Zoological Garden baited “Alligators With Pickaninnies” out of their winter quarters. In the article two “small colored children happened to drift through the reptile house among the throng of visitors” and they were “pressed into service.” The alligators “wobbled out as quick as they could after the ebony mites, who darted around the tank just as the pursuing monsters fell with grunts of chagrin into the water.” The alligators were “coaxed” into their summer quarters by “plump little Africans” (“Baits Alligators”).

The headline in the September 21, 1923 Oakland Tribune reads “PICKANINNY BAIT LURES VORACIOUS ‘GATOR TO DEATH. And Mother Gets Her Baby Back in Perfect Condition; Also $2”. In the article T.W. Villiers chronicles the entire process of using black babies as bait and how “these little black morsels are more than glad to be led to the ‘sacrifice’ and do their part in lurking the big Florida gators to their fate without suffering so much as a scratch.” Villiers is quick to point out that the babies are brought out of the “water alive and whole and come out wet and laughing” and that “there is nothing terrible about it, except that it is spelling death for the alligators.” In a strange twist, Villiers reports on the hunter’s attempts to rationalize the motivation of the alligators to “jeopardize every hope of life for a live baby, and in the matter of color, the additional information is vouchsafed that black babies, in the estimation of the alligators, are far more refreshing, as it were, than white ones.”

But was the origin of the actual cheer racist?

Not according to the black player who made it a thing at UF.

Lawrence Wright, ESPN noted, popularized the phrase, “If you ain’t a Gator, ya Gator bait, baby,” after a win over Florida State in 1995.

He told the Gainesville Sun he disagrees with the school’s decision and would like a word with President Fuchs.

“Me and the president need to sit down and talk about this,” Wright said.

“I’m not going for it,” he added. “I created something for us. It’s a college football thing. It’s not a racist thing, It’s about us, the Gator Nation. And I’m Black.

“What about our history as the Gator Nation?” the former star cornerback asked. “We took a program from the top five to No. 1 in the country. I think I’ve done enough, put in the sweat and tears, to get to offer my opinion about something like this.”

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College Football Dr. fauci Intelwars NFL Sports canceled Will the nfl play this year Will there be college football in 2020

Dr. Fauci says ‘football may not happen this year’

Sports fans are fervently asking: “Will the NFL play this year,” and “Will there be college football in 2020?” For those of you who can’t wait for college football and the NFL to return, you’re not going to appreciate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s response to those pertinent questions.

Dr. Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a lead member of the White House task force on the coronavirus, is skeptical about football returning in 2020. He warned that football teams would need to emulate plans by the NBA, WNBA, MLS, and NWSL for a “bubble” environment to play during the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble — insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day — it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci told CNN on Thursday morning.

Fauci hinted that there might not be football in 2020.

“If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year,” he said.

The NBA’s bubble plan is to have 22 teams assemble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando in early July, where players will be sequestered at hotels on the grounds: Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian, and the Yacht Club. Families of the NBA players and coaches will not be allowed to visit them until Aug. 31.

There isn’t much time for the NFL and NCAA football teams to develop a “bubble” model. NFL players are currently scheduled to attend training camp on July 22. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, scheduled for Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio, likely will be without fans in attendance if it happens, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday. The preseason game will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

The NFL regular season is scheduled to kick off on Sept. 10, including the defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans in a rematch of 2019’s AFC divisional playoff game.

The NCAA Division I Council approved a six-week practice plan that starts as early as July 13, followed by an enhanced training schedule that begins July 24 and a normal, four-week preseason camp beginning on Aug. 7.

“This is the year you want to keep them in this kind of a bubble, as opposed to sending them back out into their own communities,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said of keeping students at college instead of sending them back home if they become infected.

In May, Fauci said football is the “perfect setup” to spread COVID-19.

“But if people are in such close contact as football players are on every single play, then that’s the perfect setup for spreading,” Fauci said. “I would think that if there is an infected football player on the field — a middle linebacker, a tackle, whoever it is it — as soon as they hit the next guy, the chances are that they will be shedding virus all over that person.

“If you really want to be in a situation where you want to be absolutely certain, you’d test all the players before the game,” he added. “And you say, Those who are infected: ‘Sorry, you’re sidelined.’ Those who are free: ‘Get in there and play.'”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that a source informed him on Monday that the NFL Players Association told its members that they could be tested roughly every three days for COVID-19 and isolated if they test positive.

In the past week, Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, and a football player at West Virginia have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We expect we are going to have positive tests,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “That is part of the increased testing that we will be going through and that is something that we just want to make sure that our protocols are working and to date. We are seeing very positive reactions in the sense that we are making sure we respond quickly, protect the personnel that may be impacted by that and others that may be in contact with them.”

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Alfred williams College Football Intelwars Mike gundy n-word Oklahoma state university Racism accusation University of Colorado

Former player renews claim that embattled coach Mike Gundy called him the N-word nearly 31 years ago

Former NFL player Alfred Williams has renewed a claim that embattled Oklahoma State University football coach Mike Gundy twice called him the N-word when their college teams played in a 1989 game, the Oklahoman reported.

Gundy is already under fire in the wake of OSU star running back Chuba Hubbard saying he’d boycott his team after a CBS Sports reporter shared a photo of Gundy wearing a T-shirt bearing the insignia of controversial conservative news outlet OAN, or One America News. Later, Gundy and Hubbard posted a joint video statement featuring the coach promising changes and the player apologizing for the way he handled the situation.

The coach also issued a second apology video Tuesday:


OSU Coach Mike Gundy apologizes in video for wearing controversial t-shirt

youtu.be

What are the details of Williams’ allegation?

Williams was an All-American linebacker for the University of Colorado, and Gundy was the quarterback for Oklahoma State. Williams— now 51 — was one of several Colorado players who, after their 41-17 win, said Gundy used the racial slur, ESPN reported.

“I remember that it was the first time that the University of Colorado beat Oklahoma State while I was there,” Williams told the Oklahoman in a phone interview Wednesday night. “It was a big win. It really was a big win. And I remember Mike Gundy called me the N-word. That’s what I remember.”

Williams said Gundy called him the N-word while he was walking off the OSU field before halftime and during the second half, the paper said.

More from the paper:

The Daily Oklahoman’s story from Nov. 12, 1989, addressed the accusations in the bottom half of the game story with six paragraphs, including Colorado’s Kanavis McGhee, Bruce Young and Okland Salavea all joining Williams in saying Gundy used racial comments.

“He said it to me and a couple of other guys on the field,” McGhee said at the time. “It got me real upset. Here’s a guy in the spotlight all the time, to say something like that is not cool at all. All it did was fire us up.”

Gundy emphatically denied the accusations to The Daily Oklahoman reporter Mac Bentley.

“I didn’t say it,” Gundy said. “It’s just not true. I’ve been here four years, and well over half of my friends are black. I just did not say that; I wouldn’t say something like that.”

The Oklahoman said an OSU official declined comment on the renewed allegation Wednesday night. ESPN said Gundy hasn’t addressed Williams’ latest allegation, and a spokesperson told the sports network Thursday that Oklahoma State’s athletic department would have no comment at this time.

What else did Williams say?

Williams told the Oklahoman that Wednesday was the first time he’d seen Gundy’s response after the 1989 game, and that brought up painful memories.

“I want an apology from him, and I want to see him have some growth,” Williams told the paper, adding that he doesn’t want Gundy fired. “If he denies that he said [that], I have at least 20 people who will vouch for what happened that day. I’m a little upset, because after 31 years I finally saw the story published in your papers out in Oklahoma. That was the first time I saw some of the responses to what I said. In the St. Louis Dispatch he said, ‘Look at the University of Colorado and its players. They got rapists.'”

Sports Illustrated in February 1989 examined the rise in crime connected to Colorado players as the program improved on the field, the Oklahoman noted.

“Wait a minute,” Williams shot back to the paper. “What does that have to do with Alfred Williams or anything? I’m not part of any one of those SI stories, or I wasn’t part of anything like that. As a matter of fact, I’m part of the College Football Hall of Fame. So why would I be part of anything that is dishonorable? The fact that he tried to discredit me, it’s 31 years later, and I just saw the article for the first time today, so, yeah, I’m a little upset.”

He also told the Oklahoman that he’s discouraged at least four high school coaches of college recruits from sending their players to OSU — and all of them chose other schools.

Williams added to the paper that he was surprised when Gundy was promoted to head coach 15 years ago.

“It’s incredible, right, because the way I look at it was Oklahoma State must have done their due diligence before hiring him and thought he was an appropriate coach for them after everything that was alleged by me and validated by my teammates,” he recounted to the Oklahoman. “They still hired him, so whatever.”

Williams went on to play for the Denver Broncos, which won two Super Bowls during his career, the Oklahoman said, adding that he’s spent the past 17 years as a broadcaster.

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Former USC football player wins in court years after wrongful domestic abuse expulsion ruined his career

A former University of Southern California football player had his expulsion reversed by a California appeals court, after he was kicked out of school in 2017 due to a Title IX domestic abuse allegation, Reason reported.

Matt Boermeester was a kicker for USC until 2017. In January of that year, two students saw Boermeester put his hands around his girlfriend’s neck and push her against a wall and reported the incident.

Boermeester said they were just “horsing around.” His girlfriend, Zoe Katz, told USC investigators that she has “never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matthew Boemeester; not on January 21, 2017, and not ever.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Katz had initially confirmed the allegations before denying any abuse later on, but said her previous statements had been “misrepresented, misquoted, and taken out of context.” Investigators reportedly disregarded her denials and categorized her as a “battered woman” who was scared to speak against her abuser.

The California Court of Appeals ruled that USC’s discipline was unfair and “denied Boermeester a meaningful opportunity to cross-examine critical witnesses at an in-person hearing.” The case will be remanded to a superior court to “afford Boermeester the opportunity to directly or indirectly cross-examine witnesses at an in-person hearing.”

Boermeester said he was grateful for the win, but it doesn’t make up for what he lost when he was expelled just months after kicking the winning field goal for USC in the 2017 Rose Bowl.

“After having three years of my life derailed, I’m gratified that the California Court of Appeals finally reversed my expulsion based on USC’s wrongful, male-biased, witch hunt brought against me,” Boermeester said, according to Reason. “Make no mistake, USC stripped away my educational opportunities and hopes and dreams of playing in the NFL, and this ‘win’ does not erase that.”

Boermeester’s case has been cited by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in her efforts to reform the process by which campus sexual assaults are adjudicated.

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Oklahoma State college football player tests positive for COVID-19 after attending George Floyd protest

An Oklahoma State University football player has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a George Floyd protest in Tulsa, highlighting the reality that social distancing has been totally disregarded in recent weeks and potentially complicating the return of college football teams to campus, The Hill reported.

The player, senior linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga, announced the positive test result on Twitter and warned others to be careful when participating in large protests.

“After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.”

Ogbongbemiga has been moved to isolated student housing for quarantine.

An Oklahoma State athletics official confirmed that three people in the athletics department tested positive. The Oklahoman reported that they were all football players who did not display symptoms of the disease.

“For the record: @OSUAthletics has tested over 150 staff/admins/student-athletes with 3 asymptomatic positives. All by SAs,” associate athletic director Kevin Klintworth tweeted. “Positives were expected and the plan for that scenario has been activated. We will be as forthcoming as possible on the covid issues”

As a result of these positive tests, the expected move-in for freshman players has been delayed. OSU was one of the schools bringing football players back as normal for summer workouts. Other schools, such as the University of Oklahoma, are delaying the start of summer workouts until July.

OU head coach Lincoln Riley called the idea of bringing players back to campus on Monday “ridiculous” and advocated for starting as late as feasibly possible.

“In my opinion, we need to bring them in as late as we possibly can before we play a season,” Riley said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Every day that we bring them in is a day we could have gotten better. It’s a day we could’ve learned more about the virus. It’s a day PPE maybe gets better. It’s a day closer to vaccine. It’s a day that our testing equipment and testing capabilities get better, and it’s just not worth it. So we’ve got to be patient. We get one shot at this, and we’ve got to do it right.”

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Some college football programs eye June practices while others question whether there will be a season at all

Why should states like Iowa or Michigan be subject to the same coronavirus restrictions as New York? That policy question has sparked political debate and protest, and is also a key question to determine what an upcoming college football season might look like, USA Today’s Dan Wolken writes.

Under normal circumstances, college football players would begin arriving back on campus in late May and early June for summer classes and workouts. But with many states banning nonessential gatherings of more than 10 people, there is disagreement among major college football programs about how to proceed.

Unlike major professional sports leagues, major college football is governed more by conferences than by a single governing body like the NCAA — and what’s viable for the mostly midwestern Big Ten right now might not work as well in the West Coast-based PAC-12.

Wolken reports that the Southeastern Conference wants to have a normal fall season, regardless of what other conferences can or cannot do. The PAC-12 would prefer the major conferences come to a uniform decision. The Big 12 anticipates a scenario in which the season starts on time but is potentially suspended in the late fall or early winter due to a second wave of the virus. At least one Big Ten school, the University of Iowa, is aiming for June 1 to start practicing.

The decision made by publicly funded universities could vary widely depending on which governor is in charge. Some governors are pushing reopening more aggressively, while others seem intent on keeping lockdowns in place until there is a coronavirus vaccine or until the virus disappears.

“I don’t think you’re going to like it and I don’t think people are going to be happy about it, but in reality, I don’t see how you’ll be able to hold up 10 or 12 schools in one conference (because of) two states that are opening up a month later,” Penn State head football coach James Franklin said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “And that’s the same thing by conference. I don’t think you can penalize one conference from opening because another conference is opening way ahead.”

There are serious concerns involved with bringing college football back too soon. A locker room environment that keeps 100 or more players and coaches in close proximity with one another would be a high risk environment for rapid spreading of the virus. Additionally, it’s unclear whether programs could have enough available tests to ensure that infected players aren’t participating and infecting others.

While the players themselves would largely be in a demographic in which there is a low risk of serious illness or death from the coronavirus, there are some coaches and staff members who might be at higher risk and therefore may have to find ways to keep social distance while performing their duties.

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