NCAA

Maryland survives rally against Michigan for first true road win

Maryland survives rally against Michigan for first true road win

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Justin Jackson and the Maryland Terrapins handled their first road test of the Big Ten season just fine.

With Michigan bidding for another comeback win, the young Terps maintained their poise.

Jackson scored 15 points, and Maryland beat Michigan 77-70 on Saturday despite 62-percent shooting in the second half by the Wolverines. The Terrapins went 10 of 15 from 3-point range on the day, and they had an answer every time Michigan got close.

"Our guys just kept responding," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "Really proud of my team."

The Terrapins (14-2, 2-1 Big Ten) led by 11 in the first half, but Michigan (11-5, 1-2) had the deficit down to one early in the second. The Wolverines, however, could never pull even down the stretch.

It was 71-68 when Jackson fought his way inside for a basket with 48 seconds left. Michigan's Derrick Walton Jr. drove for a layup -- capping a streak of eight straight made field goals by the Wolverines -- but Anthony Cowan calmly made two free throws at the other end, and Maryland held on.

The Terrapins have three freshman starters -- Jackson, Cowan and Kevin Huerter. Maryland executed impressively throughout the second half, and the Terps made their final five shots from the field while Michigan was trying to rally.

"We're growing every single day, but other teams are too," Wolverines coach John Beilein said.

Jared Nickens made every shot he took for the Terps, going 4 for 4 -- all from 3-point range. His performance fit in well on a Maryland team that rebounded nicely from a loss to Nebraska the previous weekend.

"We went through it against Nebraska. They made a run and we couldn't respond," Maryland's Melo Trimble said. "Today was totally different. Every time they made a shot, we came down, stayed (calm) under pressure and scored."

Moritz Wagner led Michigan with 17 points, but Walton had only five points and one assist. Damonte Dodd scored 15 points for Maryland, and Trimble added 13.

Heart condition linked to coronavirus a concern for Power 5 programs

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Heart condition linked to coronavirus a concern for Power 5 programs

As the Big Ten and other Power 5 conferences decide whether or not to have fall sports, numerous factors are part of the decision. The risk of infection during the coronavirus pandemic is enough in itself to halt plans, but a potential condition linked to the virus has become a major concern for many.

Myocarditis, which is the inflammation of the heart muscle, is a rare viral infection that studies have shown may be potentially linked to the coronavirus at a higher frequency than other viruses. It can be fatal if left untreated. Though uncommon, it has been found in several college athletes including five in the Big Ten, according to ESPN.

The Mid-American Conference postponed its fall season on Saturday, in part due to initial studies on Myocarditis.

"What we don't know was really haunting us, and that's why we came to our final decision," Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier said. "That's part of the data that our presidents used. This mom gave us a play-by-play. That stuff is extremely scary."

With much still unknown about conditions connected to the virus, Power 5 programs and administrators are now faced with the risk of exposing their athletes and staff to complications beyond the initial infection of COVID-19. 

Testing and lags are problems that exist as well, but there is a larger body of work to show how those factors can impact a person and team. As for the rare heart condition, there are still numerous unanswered questions about the long terms effects.

Though the desire is there to have football and other sports be played, many understand that the risk may outweigh the reward.

"We are collectively, as a sports nation, not quite ready to feel entirely comfortable with what that may look like for our young people down the line, and we are not going to put them in that situation," Dr. John MacKnight, the head primary care team physician at the University of Virginia, said during a recent availability.

"There have been some concerns raised for that very reason: Do you not have uneasiness about having athletes participating knowing that you don't know what that longer-range outlook is? The answer is of course, yes," MacKnight said. "We don't have enough information to say this is the likelihood that this will or will not happen."

So while some players and coaches are campaigning for a season, reports that the Big Ten and others may soon announce the cancellation of the season run deeper than the fear of infection. Though that is a concern, there are additional, long term problems that could arise. 

It's a legitimate concern, and one that could derail the fall season for college sports.

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President Trump favors college football being played in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

President Trump favors college football being played in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump wants to see college football played this fall despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled," Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump's post was a quote tweet response to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, arguably the brightest star in college football and likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence was one of many notable players across the country to tweet the hashtag #WeWantToPlay on Sunday following multiple reports that the college football season could be canceled or postponed as early as this week.

Following Sunday's reports that the season likely won't happen, Lawrence was one of several stars from multiple Power 5 teams that joined a Zoom call Sunday evening to attempt and organize a plan for players to express their opinion on the why they should play and ultimately save the season. 

Other notable names such as Ohio State's Justin Fields, Alabama's Najee Harris, and Oregon's Penei Sewell were on the call, according to ESPN. Since then, college football players have reportedly attempted to unionize as one final push to save the season.

Lawrence also explained in detail on Sunday why he feels there should be a college football season. The Clemson QB tweeted Sunday night saying he believes that canceling the season would actually put college football players more at risk of the contracting virus.

"Players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions," Lawrence wrote on his Twitter thread. 

While the outlook for the 2020 college football season doesn't look promising, Lawrence and several of the sport's biggest names are not going down without a fight. And based off President Trump's tweet, it looks as if he's on the players' side.

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