Miami football can play safely according to ACC doctor

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 24: (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The Miami football program has a path to play football safely this fall according to Duke Dr. Cameron Wolfe who is the chairperson for the ACC’s medical advisory team.

Speaking to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Daily, Dr. Cameron Wolfe a doctor of infectious disease at Duke and the chairperson of the ACC medical advisory explained a path for the Miami football team and their conference rivals to be able to play safely this fall. Wolfe expects the league to be able to play at a higher expense.

The conversation with Wolfe preceded the announcement by the Big 10 Conference this afternoon that they are at least postponing their 2020 football season with the determination if a spring 2021 season is viable at a later date. Miami earlier had their September 26 game at Michigan State canceled.

The Big 10 initially made the decision in July to play a non-conference only schedule this season. Miami is scheduled to begin its revised 2020 schedule on September 10 against UAB at Hard Rock Stadium. The ACC made an announcement last month to play an 11 game schedule with 10 ACC games and one non-conference game.

There are a lot of factors to consider for the Miami football team, ACC and other conferences when making the decision to play this season. Wolfe spoke about how the ACC can logistically conduct tests, have a season, keep the players safe and how all that compares to regular students on campus.

"“We believe we can mitigate it down to a level that makes everyone safe…Can we safely have two teams meet on the field? I would say yes. Will it be tough? Yes. Will it be expensive and hard and lots of work?For sure. But I do believe you can sufficiently mitigate the risk of bringing COVID onto the football field or into the training room at a level that’s no different than living as a student on campus. The virus isn’t going away.We have to co-exist with COVID. I like that saying because it summarizes a reality that this virus isn’t going anywhere.  Whilst it ebbs and flows, we’re not going to see it ebb to zero anytime soon…This is not Ebola. It doesn’t have the lethality or the infectivity.So, certain mitigation efforts can be incredibly helpful. We’ve seen that in other countries–sadly not in the United States–where good infection control and good regimented management have allowed groups to co-exist with this virus really well.You have to feel some level of comfortable playing in a non-zero risk environment. You can’t tell me that running onto a football field is supposed to be a zero-risk environment.Look at all of the regular sporting injuries that we accept as a certain level of risk as part and parcel of football. Now the reality is that we have to accept a little bit of COVID risk to be a part of that.”"

There is a lot to parse from what Wolfe has said. The beginning of what he states is that it will be difficult be can be done. If the virus is not going anywhere it is up to Wolfe and his colleagues to determine how long it can potentially be until there is a vaccine or that Covid-19 a have a potential effect on players.

Next. Big 10 postpones football season and how that affects Miami. dark

The injuries players suffer playing football are a part of the game as any exercise would be. Covid-19 is an entirely different risk that players take. Merely by stepping on the field before football is played a player is at risk for contracting the virus. The long term effects are another liability college football program has to determine.