Report: At Least 10 Big Ten Football Players Have Heart Condition Myocarditis

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, the Big Ten logo is displayed on the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Miami of Ohio in Iowa City, Iowa. The Big Ten released its 10-game conference-only football schedule beginning as early as Labor Day weekend but cautioned there is no certainty games will be played. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

One major factor that led to the Big Ten announcing the postponement of the 2020 fall sports season, including college football, was the long-term effects of the coronavirus. 

According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, the conference is aware of at least 10 players who have the rare heart condition myocarditis, which reportedly has a high prevalence in people who have had COVID-19.

This is considered an "alarmingly high number" of the rare condition caused by viruses and it has caused decision-makers across college athletics to reconsider their views, per Auerbach.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is out for the MLB season because of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, which occurred after he contracted the coronavirus.

Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney was sent to the emergency room with breathing problems after testing positive for COVID-19.

Although the risk of hospitalization and death are lower for 18-29-year-olds who get the coronavirus compared to older individuals, there are still negative consequences resulting from the virus that has led to over 160,000 deaths in the United States, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren acknowledged the risks involved during Tuesday's announcement:

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"The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward. As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall."

The Pac-12 also postponed its season, citing concerns from the Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee that include "potential serious cardiac side effects in elite athletes."