NC State's Dave Doeren 'More Worried' About Heat Illness, Injuries Than COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren paces on the sideline during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won 28-26. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Although the coronavirus pandemic has been on the forefront of everyone's mind lately, North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren has greater concerns heading into the college football season. 

"I don't mean this in a way that I'm not respecting COVID—because there are so many precautions for that—but I'm more worried about heat illness and season-ending injuries than I am about a virus, that in most cases in our guys' age group, is three to five days," Doeren said Tuesday, per Josh Graham of WSJS Sports Hub.

North Carolina State began its fall camp on Aug. 3 while preparing for an 11-game 2020 season. All ACC teams will play 10 conference games and one non-conference game, beginning on Sept. 7.

Season-ending injuries could be damaging for a team, especially after longer layoffs between training sessions compared to past years. Heat-related issues are also a significant concern, especially after Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair died after collapsing during a football workout in May 2018.

COVID-19 still remains an issue, especially with student-athletes returning to campus.

While older adults are certainly more at-risk, there have still been over 200 coronavirus deaths of people 15-24 years old in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney has also suffered serious effects from COVID-19, as his mother detailed Monday:

Sam Blum @SamBlum3

Intense Facebook post here from Debbie Rucker, mother of Indiana freshman OL Brady Feeney. https://t.co/Ula5lBQfO2

Even if many football players are able to recover within a few days, Doeren shouldn't overlook the potentially damaging disease or the potential for infected players to spread the disease to others in more vulnerable groups.