NCAA Chief Medical Officer: Can't Go Forward with Sports with Testing Way It Is

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2020

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. The NCAA took a significant step toward allowing all Division I athletes to transfer one time without sitting out a season of competition. A plan to change the waiver process is expected to be presented to the Division I Council in April, 2020. If adopted, new criteria would go into effect for the 2020-21 academic year and be a boon for athletes in high-profile sports such as football and men's and women's basketball. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Several major conferences have already postponed sports during the fall, and more could be on the way because of the risks involved with the coronavirus pandemic.

"Right now, if testing stays as it is, there's no way we can go forward with sports," NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline told CNN (via Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic).

Hainline is also the vice president of the NCAA's Sport Science Institute, which was created "to promote and develop safety, excellence and wellness in college student-athletes."

The Big Ten has already postponed the fall season because of health concerns, including college football, an action followed by the Pac-12. So far, the SEC, ACC and Big 12 are planning to continue with the season, but there have been health setbacks.

Oklahoma recently had nine players test positive for COVID-19 after getting a week off from training camp.

"We're not in a place today where we could safely play sports," Hainline said.

One of the biggest issues for college sports includes the times student-athletes are socializing with others on campus. Notre Dame has notably seen a spike in cases since students have arrived on campus.

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The latest saliva tests could help Hainline's concerns about testing, but there are major question marks about going forward with the season. ACC games are still scheduled to begin in mid-September.