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NCAA President: We Need a Much Better Handle on Pandemic to Have Fall Sports

The NCAA president Mark Emmert said on Thursday “we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic” to have college sports in the fall.

Mark EmmertMark Emmert

He further said the latest and emerging COVID-19 data are not encouraging.

Emmert’s comments were part of a statement issued along with the NCAA’s latest return-to-sport guidelines.

“When we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel last spring’s championships it was because there was simply no way to conduct them safely,” said Emmert in the statement. “This document lays out the advice of health care professionals as to how to resume college sports if we can achieve an environment where COVID-19 rates are manageable. Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction.”

The NCAA’s latest guidelines recommend:

  • Daily self-health checks.
  • The appropriate use of face coverings and social distancing during training, competition and outside of athletics.
  • Testing strategies for all athletics activities, including pre-season, regular season and post-season.
  • Testing and results within 72 hours of competition in high contact risk sports.
  • Member schools must adhere to public health standards set by their local communities.

The NCAA’s chief medical officer Brian Hainline said close attention must be paid to the scale of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

“Any recommendation on a pathway toward a safe return to sport will depend on the national trajectory of COVID-19 spread,” said Hainline. “The idea of sport resocialization is predicated on a scenario of reduced or flattened infection rates.”

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