While the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are currently reconsidering their previous decisions to postpone their Fall athletic seasons, the SEC and the other Power 5 conferences never did, and they continue to prepare to begin play, with games slated to kick off next Saturday the 26th.
Among the games lined up for opening weekend is LSU hosting Mississippi State. According to head coach Ed Orgeron, the majority of his football players have contracted Covid-19 at some point already—and is expressing hope in that meaning that they are unlikely to catch it again during the season.
“Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it” have contracted the coronavirus, Orgeron told reporters yesterday, after having previously said weeks ago that all but a few players have at least missed practice ‘due to testing’. “I think that hopefully they won’t catch it again, and hopefully they’re not out for games”.
Many schools have not been forthcoming or consistent with regards to their testing protocols or the results of their tests, so it is difficult to actually gauge just how widespread Covid-19 has been, really not just within locker rooms, but also on the connected campuses. A number of high-profile players throughout the Power 5 schools chose to opt out of playing.
Texas Tech, a member of the Big 12 conference, has self-reported a total of 75 positive cases within its football roster since players began reporting to school in June. While that is a fairly extended period of time over three months, to have 75 players within one roster contract the virus at one point or another is a demonstration of how infectious it can be.
They currently have six active cases on the team and 22 more cases in the university among other sports, with 116 total positive cases across all sports. The team was without 12 players during its opening game last week, and it’s safe to presume that at least the majority of those absences were due to Covid-19.
Outside of announcing that none of the cases required hospitalization, there is little to no detail about the nature and severity of the infections. It is possible that some players had some meaningful adverse effects that fell short of the standard of hospitalization. We do know that some NFL players who contracted the virus with symptoms did experience some difficulties.
Individuals of any age, any health status, any background can potentially suffer the most severe symptoms and complications of the coronavirus, even if their chances of that happening are reduced. A number of players with a higher BMI are a higher risk of experiencing more extreme symptoms in the event that they contract the virus.
There have also been findings that indicate that even players who tested positive and had mild or zero symptoms still showed indications of potential heart complications, namely myocarditis, and that this was found in the range of about 15 percent of those who participated in the study