Earlier today, ESPN analyst Lee Corso was asked on the first College GameDay show of 2020 if CFB should be played this fall given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. His answer might surprise you.
“I agree with the Big Ten and the Pac-12 not playing college football this season, because of the what-ifs” Corso said. “I would not play football until February 2021. The National Football League season will be over, and the emphasis on college football. I’d play an abbreviated schedule, and maybe in 10 weeks.”
It’s hard to find a bigger voice and advocate for college football than Lee Corso. If anyone wants to play this season, we all know it’s the man famous for donning mascot heads. But the consequences to the sport will be extreme if things don’t go as planned. And 2020 shows no signs of letting up.
The biggest concern is the latest report from Wayne Sebastianelli, the athletic doctor at Penn State, who recently told a local school board that cardiac MRI scans of Big Ten athletes who contracted COVID-19 showed "30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles" indicated symptoms of myocarditis. That initial report was from the Centre Daily Times.
Now - Penn State officials walked that back on Sept. 3. The school claimed in a statement to ESPN that Sebastianelli, the Nittany Lions football team's doctor, was quoting early data from a colleague and was unaware the actual rate turned out to be much lower. Penn State insisted no COVID-19 positive athletes at the school had been diagnosed with myocarditis, according to PennLive.com
The fear of myocarditis was one of the main reasons that the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to postpone the upcoming season with hopes to return this winter or spring - possibly February, 2021 as Corso is suggesting.
If players in the other three Power 5 conferences end up suffering long-term effects from COVID-19 that they contracted while playing for their university, the NCAA will have a way bigger problem on its hands.
Corso also weighed in on this concern saying,“you’re dealing with too much medical uncertainty at this point. Too many unknown health risks.” He added: “Personally, I have two sons. They aren’t in college right now, but if they were, I would tell them they couldn’t play.”