#Top NCAA doctor: ‘We’re not in a place today where we can safely play sports’

#Top NCAA doctor: ‘We’re not in a place today where we can safely play sports’

August 16, 2020 | 11:00am | Updated August 16, 2020 | 11:34am

The NCAA has canceled fall championships. Two of its major college football conferences, the Pac-12 and Big Ten, have canceled all fall sports. And its chief medical officer is continuing to say that games should not be played at this time as the novel coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of letting up.

“Right now, if testing in the US stays the way it is, there’s no way we can go forward with sports,” Brian Hainline said on CNN. “We’re not in a place today where we can safely play sports.”

The NCAA, though, cannot prohibit schools or conferences from playing, and it does not control the College Football Playoff or the Bowl system. For now, the ACC, Big 12 and SEC are still planning to try to play football in the fall.

The hope, from the NCAA’s vantage point back in the spring, was that there would be a season and that testing and tracing methods in the country would have improved by now.

“That hasn’t happened, and it’s made it very challenging to make decisions,” said Hainline, a clinical professor of neurology at Indiana University School of Medicine and New York University School of Medicine. “I don’t know where we’ll be in the spring, but where we are today is exceptionally disappointing.

“The pathway to play sports is so exceedingly narrow right now. Everything would have to line up perfectly.”

“Perfectly” is clearly not an adjective that can be used to describe the state of the country’s battle with the virus at this point. And Hainline isn’t hiding from the obvious truth of the matter.

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