Friday, May 15, 2020

What Happens If a Player Tests Positive?

MAY 15, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

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1. What Happens If a Player Tests Positive?

Clemens Stadium - Saint John's University Athletics
by John Taity,

"The billion-dollar question facing college football is what happens when a player tests positive for coronavirus.

It’s a question of when, not if it happens, according to infectious disease experts, yet no one seems to know exactly what will happen when it does.

Will one player getting COVID-19 shut down the entire sport the way Rudy Gobert did to the NBA in mid-March? Can an athlete quarantine for two weeks and everything else go on as planned as it essentially did during a recent UFC show? There are so many questions and so many possible ramifications of a single positive test, let alone what would happen if there’s a mini-outbreak on a college campus."

>> Situational Awareness: “It’s not that these are possibilities, I think they are varying degrees of likelihood,” said Dr. Michael Saag, a world-renowned infectious disease expert based at UAB. “It’s almost not science, it’s common sense. What we have to do is the people who are making the decisions are going to have to sit in a room with a whiteboard and figure out all the what-ifs and come up with what’s tolerable and what’s reckless in terms of people’s health, especially the athletes and coaches.”

>> Reality Check: “If you start seeing 3-4 cases on a team, you couldn’t isolate just those sick players,” Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University, said. “You’d have to assume you had widespread transmission within the team, and you’d need to shut that team down and quarantine everyone for two weeks.”

>> Between The Lines: "Those scenarios have ... prompted concerns about the lengths some could take to keep football going even in the face of a pandemic. One Power 5 administrator openly speculated that teams might not be upfront about positive tests if it meant an automatic shutdown. “You better hope no school is covering things up,” the administrator told but they couldn’t help but be skeptical that a win-at-all-costs program would really shut it all down for a third-string punter."

>> Worth Noting: “When you have your first case diagnosed at 4 p.m. today, you probably need the entire team tested within 24 hours of the event as well as all of their contacts,” said Dr. Neel Gandhi, associate professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, who specializes in tuberculosis and HIV research. “We’re talking roommates, fraternity houses, etc. when that first case occurs and triggers a cascade that is a very labor-intensive cascade and has to happen very quickly. If it takes 3-5 days to do that investigation and that testing, you are likely to have several folds greater number of secondary infections than if you do it within hours.”

>> The Final Word: “There’s nothing more I would love to see than this season to move forward but I worry moving forward without proper planning is going to put a lot of people in harm’s way, and that’s not tolerable for me,” Saag said. 

2. Who is Going to Struggle?

Northeast Rules in WSJ/THE Ranking of Liberal-Arts Schools - WSJ
by Rick Seltzer,

"About four in 10 colleges and universities whose debt Moody’s Investors Service rates are positioned well financially during the coronavirus crisis, one in 10 are heavily exposed to challenges and the remaining half face differing degrees of stress.

That’s according to a new report the ratings agency released assessing credit risks for its U.S. higher education portfolio. Moody’s evaluation assumed a base case of colleges and universities resuming classes in the fall while facing various degrees of declining enrollment, diminished endowment income, falling state funding and lower philanthropic income. Risk would increase if campuses are closed in the fall, the report said.

The good news for investors is that colleges and universities that have issued the vast majority of debt in the sector are the same ones poised to stand up under coronavirus-related operational shocks."

>> Why It Matters: "Another 10 percent of the colleges and universities Moody’s rates face “more material credit risks” because of the pandemic, the ratings agency found. Such colleges experience weak student demand even as they rely heavily on student-related revenue like tuition and fees. They also post thin operating margins and have little liquidity. They are often small private colleges or regional public universities in states where the number of high school graduates is expected to decline."

>> What They're Saying: "About 10% of schools already faced challenges before the pandemic, and will confront more substantial financial difficulties because of it." - Susan Shaffer, VP-Senior Credit Officer

>> Read More


3.  Preparing for the Fall

Joe Onderko, commissioner of the Presidents Athletic Conference, sat down with for a conversation with Westminster (Pa.) College's The president of the Division III Commissioners Association, he discussed the conference response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook ahead for collegiate athletics.

>> Listen to Dr. B's "Roundtable"


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4.  Fall Plans

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, here’s a complete alphabetical list of Division III colleges that have either disclosed their plans, mentioned them in news reports, or set a deadline for deciding. as of May 14, 4:55 p.m. EDT


5. Comings and Goings
6.  1 Voting Thing

Snapchat is working to get younger users to register to vote, executives tell Sara Fischer.
  • When a user turns 18, Snapchat pushes a notification with directions to register to vote.
Why it matters: The company was able to successfully register 450,000 people through its app during the 2018 midterms. New data show that 50% of those registered actually went out and casted ballots.

Have a great weekend.

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