Next five weeks will determine the 2020 college football season (Photo by USAToday Sports)
As Tiger athletes, along with others across the country return to campus and get tested before practices start, there have been a rise in confirmed positive cases throughout the state of SC.
Thus far in the month of June, Clemson Athletics student-athletes and staff have completed 315 tests for COVID-19 with a total of 28 positive results.
Clemson has notified and isolated each of those individuals who tested positive for a period of at least 10 days. Close known contacts have also been asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Most of the total cases have been asymptomatic, and none have required hospitalization. As community transmission continues throughout the area, it is advised that individuals monitor for symptoms.
Clemson athletics’ 28 positive COVID-19 tests include many football players https://t.co/a4sxRzIN5I— Football Writers Association of America (@TheFWAA) June 19, 2020
So the biggest questions now are what is next for college football and college athletics in general? ACC Commissioner John Swofford spoke to Paul Finebaum about the Covid-19 pandemic and the decision that was made for athletes to return.
“I think we’ve made the decisions that we can make and should make up to this point in time. We haven’t altered the preseason practice period at this point in time, there’s no reason to at this point in time. So I think that the decisions that can be made have been made. But it’s odd being in a situation beyond that where coaches and athletic directors and commissioners that are in leadership roles are used to making decisions and moving on and you’re action-oriented. In a sense, with some of this, we’re in a holding pattern where we’re not at a point to make definitive decisions yet. We’re proceeding as if we will start the football season on time and we will play a full season. But we also know that either of those could be altered, either significantly or not so significantly. So we’re having to develop a lot of different scenarios and spend a lot of time and energy on different scenarios that may or may not come into play.”John Swofford
Finebaum also asked Swofford when he thought college football would be a full on, green light, go.
“Well I think that when we reach mid-July, hopefully that’s a more definitive point. I think that’s a benchmark certainly when you reach a point where you’re starting practice and that first weekend of games is in sight and potentially a reality at that point. Then it all starts becoming more and more real. I do think that we’re all moving ahead on the basis that we will start and that we will start on time. If that changes we will adjust and I think we’ll be ready to adjust to whatever we may have to adjust to. It may be a Fall that is very different than any other Fall, there may be some teams playing more games than others based on testing and potential outbreaks and different locales and every conference has different state regulations that will have to be dealt with.”John Swofford
Swofford went on to say that each conference’s medical advisory boards are meeting with one another to develop similar protocols from conference to conference to have consistency in terms of testing and what to do if someone tests positive.
At this point many will be watching very closely to see what those protocols will be since Clemson and other teams are now showing so many positive cases. They’ll also be looking to see how many of these are asymptomatic, how many are no longer contagious, and how well they recover from it.
Many across the country are still up the air as to whether or not there should be any attempt at sports this year and this will only fuel that argument but, as of right now, there appears to be no signs that the Tigers season will not be attempted. Especially since Positive COVID-19 test results have been fairly common at schools as athletes begin to report back to campus.
All in all, Swofford has shown that he has been and seems to continue to be optimistic about the situation and also feels that the 2020 football season is going to be played this, one way or another.