Sobering and scary COVID-19 news for college football players

By Vincent Frank

There’s a reason the medical community is taking COVID-19 seriously as it relates to the virus infecting otherwise young and healthy human beings.

A lot of the talk has surrounded the elderly population and those with preexisting conditions being most impacted by the novel coronavirus. Multiple studies continue to suggest that this is not the case.

It’s been a major backdrop to the college football season and multiple major conferences planning to forge ahead with the campaign later this month. According to this one recent study, that might not be the best plan of action for the actual health of college football players.

New Penn State study shows scary COVID-19 news for college athletes

“When we looked at our COVID-positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, 30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles (are) inflamed,” Penn State director of athletic medicine Wayne Sebastianelli said recently, via the Centre Daily. “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, in inflammation of the heart muscle that can be fatal if not treated, has come up as a major issue surrounding otherwise healthy individuals in their prime.

Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez had to opt out of the 2020 MLB season after testing positive for COVD-19, primarily because he was also diagnosed with myocarditis. We’ve seen it in a number of college football players, too. It is directly correlated with COVID-19.

These are the unintended consequences of a virus that we still don’t know very much about. Hence, novel.

College Football season has already started amid pandemic

The first FBS game of the 2020 college football season will take place Thursday night. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 are all planning on starting their seasons later this month. Meanwhile, the Big Ten could open its season some time in the winter with the Pac-12 having already decided to cancel its fall slate.

Realistically, it’s all about how the virus acts over the course of the fall as it relates to whether the season will be completed. The backdrop here is the continued growth of COVID-19 cases in universities around the United States and the concern that it could have long-term health ramifications on young people.

This study should be taken seriously.