NCAA Programs Uncertain Future Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci | May 8, 2020
NCAA Programs Uncertain Future Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
Just like any sports organization, the NCAA has no idea at this point when a return to competition will be due to the coronavirus.
On NCAA.org, the NCAA recently outlined a nine-step process that must take place before resuming sport activity.
Here are the nine steps that the NCAA published on its website NCAA.org
1.There must not be directives at the national level that preclude resocialization.
2. State and local authorities must have in place a plan for resocialization.
The NCAA lists that the following criteria must be met in this plan
A downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period and a downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.
A downward trajectory of documented cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests within a 14-day period.
Hospitals can treat all patients without crisis care and there is a robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers, including emerging antibody testing.
3. The schools much have a plan for resocialization of students. This includes guidelines in areas such as social distancing, testing, temperature checks and sanitation.
4. There are several previsions that must be met if person is sick including anybody that is sick will be required to stay home
5. Equipment must meet sanitation standards and there must be sanitizers to manage infection control in all shared athletics space.
6. There must be the ability to assess immunity to COVID-19 at a regional and local level.
7. There must be access to reliable, rapid diagnostic testing on any individual who is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms.
8. There must be in place a local surveillance system so that newly identified cases can be identified promptly and isolated, and their close contacts must be managed appropriately.
9. There must be clearly identified and transparent risk analyses in place. Such risk analyses consider issues such as economics, education, restoration of society, and medical risk of sport participation, including COVID-19 infection and possible death.
This is a thorough nine-step process and it also indicates that there appears to be a long way to go before college sports resume.
There has been so much speculation about college sports’ return but again, it not based on any facts because nobody knows for sure.
The driving force for college sports is football and men’s basketball, the two sports that bring the most revenue. In fact, many college sports departments depend on football and men’s basketball revenue to support the rest of the sports programs.
Speculation has everything from college football beginning in mid-October to playing in the spring. There are others who are hoping that a late-August start is possible.
College has more issues that professional sports because presumably the school would have to have students in school to be able to conduct games, whether those games are played before fans or not.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo courtesy of Marc Narducci

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