Safe to Play?

First, and this adds significant real-life context to the discussion we’ve been having, Pitt POV reader and commenter Russ Broman passed away yesterday.  The cause of death was Coronavirus.  Russ posted under the handle “RKB”, and was known for his outspoken opinions.   Russ contracted COVID while working as an assistant DA in the Allegheny County Courthouse.  Sadly, it’s possible that his death could have been avoided.

Per a July 13th article by KDKA:

Before going into the hospital, Broman filed a complaint against the Allegheny County court system with OSHA — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — and the family’s attorney directed KDKA’s Andy Sheehan to speak with Nightingale, one of several friends who Broman emailed, complaining of a lack for safety protocols in the courthouse and alleging that one judge, in particular, did not require masks in her courtroom.

“His message called into question court administration’s saying they’re doing everything possible to notify people who have been exposed, the masking guidelines were being strictly followed. It was, in my opinion, a plea for help and a cry for transparency,” said Nightingale.

Prior to the courts reopening the first week of June, President Judge Kim Berkley Clark ordered that all employees and judges wear masks. And after a court reporter tested positive, Clark sent out a letter on June 26 reaffirming that order.

“I have received reports that not everyone, including judges, is wearing a mask or face covering during court proceedings….Not wearing a mask is disrespectful and sends a message to the public and attorneys, that we care more about our personal comfort than we do about their safety. Failure to socially distance sends the same message,” Clark said in the letter.

And so, here we are.  A good man has died because people were not wearing masks, and possibly because the court was not aggressive enough in implementing video conferencing and enforcing social distancing.  Per a July 14th Trib article:

The District Attorney’s Office and President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark have confirmed a number of cases among attorneys and court employees. They include:

  • Two of the people who tested positive work in the courthouse. They tested positive on June 25 and July 2.
  • One works in the City-County Building and tested positive July 4.
  • One works in pretrial services and tested positive June 30.
  • One works in the family division and tested positive June 30. This employee was working from home.
  • One worked at Judge Anthony DeLuca’s Penn Hills office and tested positive July 5.
  • A Pittsburgh Municipal Court employee who tested positive July 5.
  • An employee in the probation office tested positive June 30.

Clark, in light of the infections, put some restrictions on in-person hearings through Friday. She pushed for attorneys in the District Attorney’s office and defense counsel alike to use videoconferencing whenever possible.

“This may be our ‘new normal’ in that it is unclear how this pandemic will develop,” she said in a July 7 email. “A very large portion of criminal cases are pleas which can easily be done remotely.”

Reading this, and taking it in context with the other article, it would seem that Broman’s infection and subsequent OCSHA compliant are what spurred additional actions.  If that’s the case, it’s extremely saddening that he ultimately had to die in order for COVID to be taken seriously.

On the POV’s behalf, I would like to express our condolences to Russ’ family.  His contributions to the POV community will be missed. Here is an excellent TribLive article that speaks to Broman’s career, and the people who knew him at work.

And so with this hitting so close to home, perhaps it puts the #wewanttoplay movement into a new light.  How safe is college football?  And would there be a situation like RKB that would leave us all shaking our heads?  Quite possibly.

And yet, there are differences.

First, The Allegheny Courthouse was not diligently following protocols, nor enforcing them.  And on top of that Russ was in a high risk category (over 64, with pre-existing conditions and history of lung infections – per a comment he posted on this blog on May 25th.)

On the other hand, College teams are diligently following protocols, and college players are one of the lowest-risk demographics in the world.  The COVID death rate for those under 25 in the US in minuscule.  There are some coaches that are high risk, but it’s possible to identify them and take the appropriate cautionary measures.  I highly doubt that the Allegheny County courthouse made such an effort.

Still, overall risk for players and coaches is elevated.  If there are 5000 FBS players that play, and there is a 2% infection rate, 100 players will get sick.  But…. of those 100, statistically all of them are likely to survive.   Per the below graph, the mortality rate per 1000 people age 18-29 is 0.1%.  That’s one-tenth of one percent. That is literally a 99.9% survival rate.  Coaches 50-64 have a 97% probability of surviving.  Coaches 65+ (and how many of them are there?) have a 90% probability of surviving…if they even contract the disease.  For guys that put their health on the line every single time they walk out onto the field (players) or for guys that have spent their lives around that kind of culture (coaches), you’d have to think they will take those odds, right, wrong or indifferent.

covid 19 death rate

There are potential heart issues, though.

Dennis Dodd:  Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) has emerged as a major concern in Big Ten’s decision [to cancel the season]– and possibly all of college football. COVID-19 victims are contracting myocarditis. Heart issues mentioned by NCAA and Big 12. I’ve written about it. So have others. Huge right now.

Pete Thamel:  Update on the Pac-12: Pac-12 coaches and ADs got a sobering medical perspective from a group of Pac-12 doctors last night. Source called it “eye opening” and the information on myocarditis “made it real.” 1/2

The doctors also expressed concern about proximity that comes with full-contact practice. “It’s all in the presidents’ hands,” said a source. 2/2

And yet, as usual, there is conflicting evidence.  Though it is hardly conclusive.  Per David Hale on Twitter:  Miami and VT both did studies of their pre-pandemic practices and found VERY limited contact between individual athletes. Aside from some linemen, the likelihood is that 2 specific players would enter a 6-foot radius of each other for < 2 min/game.

Talked with Manny Diaz about this in depth. He was the first to study it, noting that it was crazy to make decisions without hard data. Shared his info with the rest of the ACC. VT’s study backed up Miami’s results.

The caveat from Diaz was that, while CDC guidelines say < 15 mins is preferred limit for day-to-day stuff, exposure in a football game would be at a different level — literal blood, sweat & tears (and other things). So is 2 mins of contact too much? Hard to say.

From a contact tracing standpoint though, coaches I’ve talked to seemed to think that, aside from (possibly) the OL/DL, even a positive test would not require significant quarantining of other players who might’ve practiced alongside the infected person.

Dr. Cameron Wolfe, Duke Infectious Disease Specialist has weighed in as well (full article here):

“We believe we can mitigate it down to a level that makes everyone safe,” Wolfe told The Daily. “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.”

“You can’t tell me that running onto a football field is supposed to be a zero-risk environment,” Wolfe continued. “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.”

Here is another article with COVID takes by Wolfe.

“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.” Wolfe said he has tried “not to be cataclysmic” about COVID. “This is not Ebola,” he said. “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.”

And so, the ACC seems to have a medical basis for trying to make the season work.  It’s probably going to involve a lot of testing, and a lot of rules.  The common feeling is that not all the players on all the teams are going to be able to follow through on following all these rules.  Still, teams are going to control what they are going to control, and if the players want it bad enough, they’ll toe the line.  I suspect that some players on some teams will toe it harder than others.  Culture will help.  Pitt prides itself on its team culture, has strong senior leadership and a locker room that is stocked exclusively with intelligent and committed young men, and I personally think they will step up. Other teams? Who knows.

There is also the institutional piece.  What are different programs doing?  Here is a look at some of the protocols Pitt has implemented (thanks to EJ Borghetti for providing the below bullet points).  As you’d expect from a University with a Top Medical program, Pitt seems to be proactively addressing the heart issues.  See the third bullet below.

  • Any Pitt student-athlete who tests positive will be placed into isolation for a minimum of 10 days—and three days after all symptoms clear (which includes being free of a fever without taking any medication). If needed, isolation housing will be arranged. Contract tracing is done to identify any close contacts. Should a close contact become symptomatic, COVID testing will be arranged for the individual that day.
  • Student-athletes who test positive will be continuously monitored and engaged during their isolation period. The Pitt sports medicine staff will communicate daily—multiple times—with them in order to monitor their symptoms and well-being as well as to provide continued COVID-19 education. They also will receive outreach from Pitt’s mental health staff. Meals will be delivered during their entire isolation period and a small care package of thermometers and over-the-counter medicines will be provided.  
  • Once isolation ends, the student-athlete will receive bloodwork and an electrocardiogram (EKG). A virtual appointment with a team physician will be conducted to determine clearance for a return to workouts.

Outside of the medical protocols there is prevention.  It appears that Pitt is sanitizing individual helmets after each practice.  What else are they doing that we don’t see?  Probably a lot.

 

 

Of course if the ACC moves forward (and it seems like they are going to try), staying COVID-free is going to come down to individual decisions by individual players.  Will an historically undisciplined program like a Florida State or a Miami be able to step up to the plate?  What if their season goes off the rails?  There is literally nothing we can do but wait.

While you are waiting, read this:

 

 

Back to football, the latest breaking news is that the Big 12 has apparently decided to play. If the ACC and the SEC stay the course, that will probably provide a critical mass to keep hope for a fall season afloat.  Still, in this wild-and-woolly 2020, don’t expect things not to change, and at this point next week we might all be talking about the season that might have been. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

 

 

 

 

199 thoughts on “Safe to Play?

  1. great job Maestro

    Saw an interview last night with a B10 official. He indicated that one of the major concerns was the football players going to class and interacting with students. Will ACC players be isolated throughout the season?

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    1. Probably up to the individual teams. I’d they are smart they will find a way to put as much of a bubble around the football team as they possibly can

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    2. But also…1% of Notre dame students infected. Now how does that spread on campus? Well there is an epidemiology case study for you. But dang it’s low going in

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      1. Europe is around 1 percent. And they are open for school and business. But under the new normal. They do have flare ups but are positioned to handle it much better

        Positive rate in Texas is going down but we’re still above the 5 percent threshold. Very easy for outbreaks above that line.

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  2. Rest In Peace, RKB. Prayers for the family.

    With the Big10 cancelling their season, I wonder if PSU will be pressuring the Governor to shut down all college football in Pennsylvania?

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    1. wouldn’t doubt if there is some kind of pressure from the middle and eastern part of the state ….which would likely be hypocritical considering all the criticism of the gov being too cautious

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  3. Yes, so very sad about RKB, Russ and I had a pretty good sparring session way back but we both came around and became good buddies when he was struck with cancer and then Covid. Prayers to his family. This article is not quite complete without a picture of Russ dressed out in his golfing attire at Quicksilver. Non the less Mike, great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. apparently there are a few Michigan nd OSU tweets adopting Pitt as their team this year. Probably hoping that we can beat ND or Clemson (while of course losing to GT and BC)

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  5. Ya know, I was curious about the SEC being so adamant about playing this year. I know, passion, almost a religion, etc. Since I’ve heard about how 50-100 million is no big deal, I looked into their endowment funds. Uh, with 2 exceptions that type of hit would be devastating to most, and catastrophic to schools like LSU and Auburn. These are not schools who have huge bankrolls to fall back on. LSUs endowment, from what I’ve seen is under 600 million. Do they have other funds to tap into?? Major difference in endowments compared to other conferences.

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  6. Players are going to get COVID; students are going to get COVID. Are these schools banning on campus classes and activities all together? Don’t think so; why then focus on football? If players test negative on game day, then spreading to other teams’ players seems remote. Plus, most players will take their few Fall classes online. Jack a$$es like Ron Cook have no medical clue as to what they are talking about, but sure seem to have all the answers. As I mentioned before, college is voluntary, and lawsuits won’t go far since everyone knows the risk going in. We will look back on 2020 as a year of panic decision making rather than courageous choices.

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    1. Are players getting results back same day?

      When we look back on this we will scratch our heads and wonder why so many people had to die. Some like me won’t wonder. I already know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that was quite the exaggeration Tex. They need to give it a go, if it blows up week one, end it.

        I trust UPMC, Duke Medical, etc. way more than I trust the doctors in the CDC. We can all post articles stats to make our argument. My only point is give it a try. Make it optional, no hard feelings for those that opt out.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I understand your point. But I’m 99 percent certain a contact sport cannot work outside a bubble particularly when the positive rates in the community are above 5 percent. So I see it as a futile exercise with a predetermined outcome.

          Why could college football pull off a miracle when no other sport has and health experts deem the likelihood of success at near zero

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        1. Nearly 200k dead in my book is a lot.

          That’s almost three times as many as Vietnam. And Vietnam was over ten years.

          200k is almost three entire towns of Mansfield completely empty and lifeless.

          It is a lot.

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          1. Primarily sick and old. Will actually lighten the burden on social security and medicare in the long run if we let it run rampant (I’m being sarcastic here. This is NOT what I condone)

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          2. But with all that being said … it’s also fair to say that if managed properly zero cfb players and coaches will die

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      1. This is the question I have about viral load. It would seem that lineman in particular, up close and face to face so often during a game, could be receiving a massive viral load if they are often pitted against an infected opposing lineman. And I believe that some studies have shown that higher viral load increases risk and severity of infection.

        If it could be done safely, I’d love to see what looks like a really good team play. I just honestly have my doubts.

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      2. There is no way to know if a player gets COVID from another player or from a fellow student or other source. Tex, are you prepared to ban students from campus? Regular students will get COVID and there is an isolation protocol to handle it. Why are football players different? I have yet to hear how with all the medical staff and protocols set up for football they must somehow be treated differently than other students on campus. The biggest problem is that they might be quarantined like other students and not available for play on Saturdays (two or three Saturdays most likely, the equivalent of a minor injury for sitting out). Tex, you are taking this death scenario way too far when applying it to football players instead of all students.

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  7. We all talk endowments but that money really can’t be touched for sports. Now there could be a special on time exception made I’m sure and that money would be considered a short term loan with interest due. But again, most schools aren’t as rich as Pitt when it comes to endowments. Most people who give could care less about sports. That endowment is for the mission statement. It’s 100 percent academic. Like reed said, sports is not even mentioned in the statement.

    So yes a 50-$100 million hit will financially bankrupt most sports programs. Schools will need to reach out to donors, find new creative revenue streams, cut, eliminate programs and reduce waste and bureaucracy, obtain loans, try to raid from endowments.

    And then the cancellation will also economically devastate small towns like state college. This is their tourist season.

    So the political pressure to play is enormous mainly driven by economics.

    And then there is the fear of future lawsuits. I know the pac 10 didn’t want to contend with legal exposure from the potential long term health issues from covid.

    Finally, just think about knowing a player, coach or staffer that will die from covid. Most will then realize the cost to continue playing outweighs the benefits. Colleges and schools just need to shut down.

    If I was older I wouldn’t take chances. Your risk of dieing in a car accident is roughly 8 in 100,000. The risk of covid death is at least 1 in 100. Big statistical difference there.

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    1. Just to reiterate what Tex has been stating. Endowments are solely for academics, which believe it or not, is the primary mission of colleges and universities. The highly endowed schools are better able to survive in the environment we are presently going through. The principal of the endowment usually cannot be touched, only the income it produces. For example if you set up an endowed scholarship, only the income it generates will go toward funding a student at Pitt while the principal will continue to grow over the long haul due to the investments Pitt makes with it.

      The southern schools do not have a history of their alums donating to their endowment, Duke and Virginia being the exception. Clemson has an endowment of less than a billion dollars which is kind of shocking. Georgia Tech another school you would expect to be a blue blood when it comes to endowments has less endowments than Pitt. Pitt has the 4th highest endowment in the ACC after Notre Dame, Duke, and Virginia in that order.

      Little known fact about LSU: General William T. Sherman was its first superintendent. It is a fact they try to avoid. He is one of my heroes!

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      1. My first name is really Sherman- named after that drunk burner and looter- great great granddaddy Henry fought with him and when he returned to Penna. named his 1st son Sherman ….

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        1. So great great granddaddy was one of Billie’s Bummer! The Augusta Chronicle, our local rag, wrote then retired General Sherman after the war asking why he never attacked Augusta. They were offended by his indifference to them both going down to Savannah and then going north through South Carolina. He replied that if they wanted he would, gather up some of Billie’s Bummer and come down! True story! The Chronicle reprinted their letter and his reply on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

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          1. Great great granddad left one brother buried in Petersburg battlefield and a 2nd brother killed at Cold Harbor but body was never identified …. kinda like a Civil War version of “ Saving Private Ryan.”

            BigB,a damn Yankee living in Dixie who wants to preserve our history!

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      1. If I was 65 with underlying health conditions, my risk of death from covid is far greater than risk of death in a vehicle accident.

        Maybe once you reach retirement and have health issues you’ll think differently when the next pandemic hits. But again maybe not.

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        1. I am already there Tex- old with conditions and have done what I can to survive and thrive…

          Tex, have you had any human contact in the past 5 months???? You seem to fear your own shadow – your western PA- Indiana Co coal miner tough…. get your a$$ back home a week-end and I’ll get you right… after all, I am a therapist.

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  8. RIP Russ. He was certainly resplendent that day at Quicksilver.

    Excellent job on the article, MM.

    Will be fascinatingly to see how long the “season” lasts… We need mobile bubbles for the coaches…

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  9. Wanted to throw this in here with all respect to Russ.

    If there is a season this year, in front of small or no fans, wouldn’t that drive up the prices for commercials? The ACC is letting Notre Dame skate and slide right into the conference without any long term commitment but they need to apply all available pressures to Comcast to commit now or never. You don’t always have the upper hand in situations like this.

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  10. I think pictures go to oblivion-ville after a certain amount of time. I remember looking up an old article for pictures last year, the article was there but the pictures couldn’t be pulled up. When Fran gets home he will post one, it’s a pretty cool shot of the boys.

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    1. Because concussions won’t kill you and even the long term affects are to this day debateable. Covid kills. And there are also potential long term health risks.

      And most importantly, a concussion can’t spread and kill me

      Are these players going to sign a contract saying they will be charged with manslaughter if they get infected and one of their position coaches die. Good chance it came from them. Tough to prove but you see where I’m going

      Players are selfish young punks.

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        1. I don’t believe in anyone signing away their legal tights to sue. And coaches are far more responsible than 18 year olds who crave sex and drugs. Coaches have families they support.

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    2. He can use his free time now to actually study and attend class. And still get a free ride and great education off limits to most Americans. Does he want me to have a pitty party for him?

      Tex who will supply the Fantas and bounce house

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  11. nrs, you have to understand the different missions of the ACC medical community versus the CDC. The former is focused on the health and physical effects of the participants, while the latter is focused on controlling the spread and developing an effective vaccine(s).

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    1. CDC Mission Statement is below: They can care less about a football league or financial concerns

      CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (C)
      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serves as the national focus for
      developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health
      promotion and health education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the
      United States.

      To accomplish its mission, CDC identifies and defines preventable health problems and
      maintains active surveillance of diseases through epidemiologic and laboratory investigations
      and data collection, analysis, and distribution; serves as the PHS lead agency in developing and
      implementing operational programs relating to environmental health problems, and conducts
      operational research aimed at developing and testing effective disease prevention, control, and
      health promotion programs; administers a national program to develop recommended
      occupational safety and health standards and to conduct research, training, and technical
      assistance to assure safe and healthful working conditions for every working person; develops
      and implements a program to sustain a strong national workforce in disease prevention and
      control; and conducts a national program for improving the performance of clinical laboratories.

      CDC is responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases, and
      provides consultation and assistance to other nations and international agencies to assist in
      improving their disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion
      activities. CDC administers the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant and specific
      preventive health categorical grant programs while providing program expertise and assistance in
      responding to Federal, State, local, and private organizations on matters related to disease
      prevention and control activities.

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      1. Kind of disappointing and sad to read that CDC Mission Statement. They didn’t do so well with Covid19. We needed some old geezers who had gone thru 1918 to pass on some lessons learned…

        And a quick off-topic comment — that TE verbal Jake Renda looks like he can run pretty well and he looks pretty athletic, especially for a 6’5” guy…

        Go Pitt

        Liked by 1 person

    2. And the mission statement of universities has little to nothing to do with sports. These athletes are still getting a free ride whether they play or not. Good time for them to actually study and attend class with fellow hard working students for once. Spoiled little brats they are. Go let them try to form a union. They have no grievance and standing. They are not employees of the university. Best case they are contract workers…independent subs. They can pound sand.

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  12. There is no way to know if a player gets COVID from another player or from a fellow student or other source. Tex, are you prepared to ban students from campus? Regular students will get COVID and there is an isolation protocol to handle it. Why are football players different? I have yet to hear how with all the medical staff and protocols set up for football they must somehow be treated differently than other students on campus. The biggest problem is that they might be quarantined like other students and not available for play on Saturdays (two or three Saturdays most likely, the equivalent of a minor injury for sitting out). Tex, you are taking this death scenario way too far when applying it to football players instead of all students.

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    1. Most schools are offering online. But Many no physical in class. As a student I don’t tackle others and get exposed. A football player does to earn their scholie.

      No football, no loss of scholie, pick an option offered by the school to learn. Problem solved.

      But schools want the money. Players don’t want to go to school. They just want to play and be treated special.

      This exposes the hypocrisy of universities, NCAA and players.

      This will also be the catalyst to break up college football. Semi pro league or a college affiliated Minor league system within three years. You will have players ‘striking’

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      1. Yes, Tex is just a tiny little bit extreme over all this by a smidge but the passing of Russ shows us all what age and an underlying condition can do to you. Then again, there have been completely healthy young people who pass due to Covid. << Maybe they had problems they didn’t know about?

        I think the playing of college football the question is more about freedom of choice. If the kids and coaches want to play and take the slight risk I say let those boys and girls boogey woogey. << Does that term age me at all? No J, no 70’s video.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ike
          I would NOT say the risk is slight
          They play a contact and violent sport with sweat, spit, blood and plenty of virus shedding

          There is a reason why other minimal contact sports in a bubble are working. There is a reason why baseball is failing even without fans. There is a reason why premier league worked.

          The US is just not ready yet just like Texas wasn’t ready to reopen two months ago.

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            1. Are they really tested daily?

              Do they get the results back same day?

              What is their quarantine and contact tracing protocols?

              Sanitation procedures

              Monitoring of athletes outside the practice facility.

              Every school does these things differently with varying levels of execution and adherence. Hence the problem.

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  13. This is Pitt’s year, we thrive in the pandemic environment. EMBRACE THE UNEXPECTED!

    1918:
    No team had a wilder ride than Pittsburgh, coached by the great Pop Warner. Over the course of the fall, the Panthers went from not playing at all to putting on one of the great performances in their history.

    “Our original schedule for the 1918 season was canceled in late September after the initial impact of the flu epidemic had set in,” Warner said at the time, quotes that resurfaced in an autobiography published in 1993, some four decades after his death. “However, by late October, the problem seemed to be under control and health officials were no longer concerned about the gathering of large crowds.”

    And what a team. Warner arranged a four-game schedule, closing against John Heisman’s Georgia Tech, which came to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh with a 33-game unbeaten streak dating back to 1914. On an icy, snowy afternoon, the Panthers walloped their Southern opponents 32-0.

    The stunning nature of the upset faded long ago, except perhaps at Pitt. What remains is what Warner said, and what he didn’t. Warner didn’t mention any concern regarding the health of his players (the NCAA hadn’t yet coined the term “student-athlete”). The game took place because civic officials decided a large crowd — more than 39,000, the biggest in Pennsylvania history — could gather. It is easy to presume, with no such thing as radio or television revenue, that if Pittsburgh hadn’t been able to fill Forbes Field, there would have been no money to pay a visiting team.

    link to entire article…
    https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/29640734/how-century-old-season-teach-college-football-embrace-unexpected

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    1. Our covid problem however is nowhere near under control and will only get worse as schools, businesses and sports reopen the wrong way.

      Unless our positive rate is near one percent, we have no business being open. Follow the European model. But we won’t because a mask has been politicized. Europe is united. Divided we fall and we surely will.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I agree for my personal health safety. Knock on wood.

              But the chances of me knowing someone who has died, could die or have health consequences due to infection are 300 percent.

              Russ
              My parents
              My health care and frontline brother

              I’m still depressed. And cautious.

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  14. Nothing to do with nothing and I paraphrase here. I good buddy of mine recently sent me this. (I couldn’t find it again so I might have it a little wrong) If a man cries more than twice a year and his grandmother or dog didn’t die he may have some underlying issues. So watch out for Covid.

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  15. Pitts mission statement does mention economic development, and research and scholarship. Some others say develop future leaders”. Not a stretch for athletic funding by any means.Because the mission statement doesn’t say “ATHLETICS” does not mean funds can’t be used or moved around as explained yesterday. No mission statement is going to read “our mission is to win national championships”. The mission needs to state things that get them taxpayer money. I swear, you guys and girls get so focused on little bs words that mean nothing. Understand the game. Put Athletics in the mission statement and funding from government/tax dollars go away. Athletics can get funding on its own as well, so its more money to spend. Put your big boy thoughts into this. Why is always a good question to ask. As in why is athletics not included in the mission? Why is scholarship, research, and state economics included. Because its multiple funding sources!!!!

    The big10 schools seem to have large endowments as does Pitt, so trying to paint with a big brush to include everyone or exclude everyone doesn”t cut it. If it was all about money the big10 and pac would be playing. It is obvious that there is little agreement on C19. Who do you trust? The ACC, Big12 and SEC are trusting Duke and Nebraska and other medical teams. Some big10 aren’t. Who is right? It’s risk vs. reward. If players want to play, sign a release. If coaches want to coach, sign a release. Easy to do. You dont want to play, dont play. Simple stuff.

    Tex, you make my point with your argument. If its all about the money, why did the big10 and pac14 cancel, especially when leaders (Nebraska), that the CDC heavily endorses, say its okay to play? Not to say it won”t change direction, but for now, a solid move by the ACC, Big12 and SEC.

    Litigation is insured my friend. Universities get sued daily. Risk is transferred.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So are you sayin I have a shot at being a good lawyer? I’m a finance mba. 🤠

      Poly sci and Econ major at Pitt with enough Russian to make me dangerous. I practice soul reading.

      But I really wonder what the Nitters will do this Fall without football? Drinking is always a good option. Tipping cows? Dare I say enjoying a nice long shower?

      Tex who picked Pitt over Penn State

      Like

      1. So yes, I am saying you still have a chance! Not sure what movie that was from, but a great line! Seriously, I dont get offended with any commentors Tex, especially you when it comes to our AD, OCS, Recruiting and Mediocrity. Who will care if the owners dont?

        Like

  16. Tex, this virus could be around FOREVER… might as well quit worrying, make the needed adjustments and LIVE!!!

    BigB whose hour glass only has a little sand in the top half!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Before you chastise Russian vaccines, I’ve given you the official link to an independent, totally scientific, unbiased proof it really works. Its written in Russian, but honest Injun (can I say that, Mike?) ohh, sorry I meant honest native american the stuff really works and they’re offering free delivery to the first 100,000 Americans who order today. But wait there’s more, if you order in the next 30 minutes, they’ll throw in a free Sham Wow face mask

        totallynotrussianpropaganda.blog.ru

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      1. I do hope the sand gets clogged for all of us. I’d like to meet y’all before I kick it.

        Tex who has a Cary Grant frame and always loves a good cigarette and full figured woman

        Like

  17. I still would like to know if the athletes will be isolated from the other students. I believe this is very key for success

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  18. “I thought the cause was worth the risk” Governor Wolf’s answer to a question on why he was not social distancing at a Harrisburg demonstration. Can the parents of these athletes and the players themselves decide that the effort to play the games this season is worth the risk?—-I’m not trying to be political here just trying to understand if we all can make that decision about the risk of doing anything today.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. These young men just don’t throw on a uniform on Saturday, they have worked hard for years for the opportunity. While I’m at it, I deserve a football season for my 55 some years of dedication as well. I know, kinda of stretching it there. Still think the kids are safer at PITT then they would be at home.

        Like

  19. Wow, anyone check out the form PSU is requiring ALL students to sign. So, not only will we charge you out the wazzoo, if you come it’s all on you. Now, help me out here Huff, I’d guess it applies to student athletes also. Is this legal and would you advise kids to sign? Even though I stayed at a Holiday Inn I need guidance on this one. They must be scared …….less.

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    1. My real sense is that IF ALL kids show up on campus in a few weeks, it will be a chaotic mess because the construct of classrooms does not allow for social distancing. As such, they will need to have three sections of a class when they typically had one. Not logistically doable across the board. I think this is a spreading the heard mentality ploy to get kids to go virtual and stay away from campus. Again, the infrastructure can’t handle face to face instruction IF they want safe distancing. They can’t have both. Not workable.

      I think they are trying to discourage students from coming back to campus and it sounds like the Contract or Agreement has some harsh wording in an effort to keep kids away. You never know what the true motivation is behind things unless you sit back and figure out all angles. To me, this is about space and ability to deliver education properly, which is a liability issue.

      If you listen to Pat Jones and Damar Hamlin, they arent taking in person classes and it is all virtual. I expect all the athlete students to have classes delivered that way.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Tex…Russ is the only person I have known who has died of this virus but so far this year I know of 21 friends and close acquaintances that have passed away so far in 2020… jus say’n!!! No need to kill football IMO…

    In 5 months our county has 43 cases of the Wuhan virus and 2 reported deaths- don’t know who died and our schools have decided to have face to face school 2 days a week and do some computer BS- total overreaction by the NEA and our goofy Governor….. bigger problem here with overdosing- deaths… every night young peeps pics appearing in the obits….

    BigB, son of Sherman who told him the only thing he would inherit was his last name “ now go to work for the rest of it!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. the AAC plans to go ahead with FB with an 11 game schedule. I believe they will have 1 or 2 OOC games (not sure), Temple’s first 3 games have already been canceled … just sayin

    Like

      1. I have another idea. Why doesn’t Pitt play Temple at a neutral site say,… Beaver Stadium. This could be a charity event for all PSU fans, call it say,… the Annual Paterno Pity Party (good alliteration, huh?). All fans will be given a white face mask with the words “I Didn’t Know” printed across it. It could be a… WHITE OUT!

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  22. Teams from cancelled conferences will need to put together a reasonable length schedule to justify playing the season. If a team like Rutgers wants to field a team this year, they would probably need to scan the other cancelled conferences pretty quickly to line up enough teams. Pitt could accommodate one additional home game.

    Like

  23. I understand there is a college team from Zelienople that is looking to get into a conference,The Buskers, Their uniforms are red and white and their helmets have a sideways Z on it, Sort of looks like an N. All the names on the uniforms have black tape across them though. The head coach is a guy named Jack Frost, I believe. Always wearing a face mask so you can’t really see what he looks like. Says “Our University is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is.” He’s just “looking at other options” for his team this year. Could be a replacement for Old Dominion whose conference is playing this year. but OD elected to go against their
    commissioner’s decision and not play.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ll practice black magic or drink Koolaid, yes even that sugary Pitt drink that so many serve up here, if proven effective. Anything to get an edge. But right now I just go about my day wearing a mask. And I see 100 percent wearing them in the stores. And the positive ratevin Texas is declining

      But, If 100 percent of students aren’t wearing them once schools reopen in September, you will see outbreaks. Schools are prisons. Prisons have nearly a 90 percent infection rate.

      I’m afraid this won’t end well

      Tex who’s stocking up for the second wave hitting come October.

      Like

  24. I’m a bit confused by the article

    I agree that players are best protected in a bubble like preseason. But now school is back open. Are they going to stay in that bubble and take 100 percent online and not go anywhere on campus where the rest of students are?

    And if so, why the special treatment. Might as well make the players employees and pay them. These are student athletes aren’t they. Education first.

    If players are allowed back on campus, they will get exposed. Then they play a social activity where there’s plenty of virus shedding.

    So how exactly can schools pull this off unless they keep players in a bubble and separate from the student body?

    Like

  25. I still don’t understand why shutting down a football season helps to make anyone safer? Do you mean to tell me that Jayen Twyman is safer moving back to his home in Washington DC (which he has every right to do) than being in a medically control environment at PITT?

    So what is a team from the Big Ten suppose to do, sequester the players until the middle of next summer or start from scratch after the players return come spring?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because at home he’s not going to be shedding the virus like he would by playing a contact sport. If he works out alone, wears a mask, practices social distance and wash his hands, he will be fine.

      Playing football where there is blood, sweat, spit and breathing and talking at very close distances, is a very high risk behavior.

      Like

    2. Any player can opt out. Stay in school. Take classes on campus. And have access to Pitts medical. It’s not like he loses his scholie and insurance if he stays in school and honors the mission statement. Which is education. And he’ll be able to get his degree at Pitt faster that way. I’d recommend that to all elite athletes. No upside in playing a season that won’t last beyond October anyway.

      Like

      1. Tex, quit worrying and get to work on a multi-purpose facility that can function should this virus never be cured or cov-id 20,21 and 22 come along…that is your strength my man !!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My MPC would be virus contained certified. Ample distancing…no cramped seating. Automated sanitation. Electrolizers zapping the virus. Retractable roof. Plenty of windows for sunlight. On site labs and testing.

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  26. Mike – Word of advice if you want it, Haha. Shut this blog down for a few weeks so we don’t hear the same message 43 times a day.

    I need a break from doom and gloom. I have flown 4-5 times, been to DC, FL, etc. and nothing has happened luckily. Tex acts like if you get your mail you need to wear a Hazmat suit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mark, you gave me a hell of a belly laugh but ironically part of the reason I laughed out loud was that somebody actually is getting on your nerves. 🙂 That’s like me saying that someone is getting on my nerves….. Reed and Jay’s eyes would roll right out of there sockets.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I go out and get exposed every day. I wear a mask and keep my distance. But if you are over 65 with health conditions, you are high risk. That’s a fact. And you have a strong statistical percentage of catching the virus. Once caught, you have good odds that you will be hospitalized. I don’t worry about myself. I worry about those most vulnerable. I’ll go back to ragging on Narduzzi and heather if that will please you.

      Like

  27. I’m disappointed that we don’t see the development and use of a football helmet/shield/face mask contraption that would filter the breath but allow players to breathe without fogging everything up…

    In a video clip from Pitt practice, hard to tell there’s a pandemic going on…

    Where’s NASA when you need them… 🤔

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. A motor cross type helmet should have been tested in practices and scrimmages by now. It’s a shame it hasn’t. I’ve seen the prototypes. can the players properly breathe and communicate. Will it obstruct vision. Will it be effective like a mask. We should already have these answers. But we don’t. That’s a shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Proud of the ACC, SEC, BIG 12 and our University of Pittsburgh for giving it a go. I hope the Big10 and PAC12 regret their decisions only because it will mean Pitt had a season and selfishly, I had college football to watch. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Another round of problems for Norvell at FSU. Though the letter written by the players is vague regarding the treatment by the coaches, it’s not a good look at another possible mutiny against the staff. Weird since Norvell is the young, offensive minded kind of coach that I’ve seen Pitt fans say is needed to get to the next level.

    Like

    1. Sooo much baggage with that program I’m sure. From what I hear the previous coaching staff DId NOt Care. Just because someone is a brilliant mind doesn’t mean they know how to work with people…

      Like

      1. Pussified prima donnas…. would be fun to transport them in a time machine to the 1960’s and see how they would have held up in a typical WPa HS football practice- the babies would run home to their mommies…..girly men make me sick….wusses…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Former Norvell player at Memphis feels the same…

          Like

          1. Dan, wrestling practice couldn’t have been much more fun, when the door slammed shut after school it was mano vs mano in a sweat shop. After practice the activity bus would drop me off one mile from my house straight up the hill in the dead of winter. I wanted to quit every step of the way every night but I hung in there till the end.

            Liked by 2 people

  30. Let’s not think this is only going on at FSU.

    Many schools are under reporting figures. Not being transparent. Not testing every day. Pitt tests what once a week. And it takes days to get back the results? Do they really quarantine the players. Conduct proper contact tracing. Really have their health protocol act together. Once outside the bubble and school opens and travel happens, it’s a whole new ballgame.

    Players are selfish but some aren’t stupid and actually care about catching the covid and potentially killing their coaches and parents. Coaches are selfish because no season means no money for the honeys.

    Poor Narduzzi wont be able to pay his mansion mortgage, his calf trainer, and dine at fancy restaurants. Heather will be forced to lay off staff, take a pay cut and pawn her yellow blouses.

    Just follow the money.

    Like

    1. Liked by 1 person

  31. The decision will be to move forward with a possibility of still canceling. That”s the safe way of moving forward. And, heart testing for the positives, into the future. You can always punt later. Athletes taking virtual classes.

    I’ve received multiple notices from the State Health Dept indicating I was exposed by students to COVID19. They weren’t athletes and my classes lasted for 1:20 minutes, in a closed environment in spring, no masks. I refused to teach this semester because they required a mask. That said, I am not in a high risk group. Until they can protect my eyes, I won”t mask for my protection. When I have a temp, feel bad or cant taste, I’ll wear one for everyone else.

    Candidly, if you are an athlete or any other person, you do risk a career ending situation (due to heart/lung ailment) if the wrong person snots on you but that can happen as easily on the field as it can off, especially in crowded halls and stairwells. No eye protection is most problematic. People need to be smart with their respective interactions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can happen more easily on the field. You can avoid someone in the hall. You can’t not tackle someone or block someone if that’s your job. I can’t think of a higher risk environment than on the football field during a play. Maybe an indoor political rally. But they don’t happen anymore.

      Like

      1. I disagree. If players on both teams follow protocols and are away from the rest of the student populaton, thats a lower risk than not playing and walking among a large unmonitored population. Not saying its without risk, simply lower.

        Like

      1. Go to Marshall football schedule on their athletic site. Pitt had it on their site but no longer there. Pitt may need to get ACC approval to travel as was pointed out above.

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  32. Looking at the CDCgraph in the article comparing regular flu vs Wuhan virus deaths I just noticed the last 3 age groups including 65 through 85 and up were not included in the deaths attributed to regular flu…. wonder why? Political or just to keep people confused

    Like

  33. Scott Frost responds to Nebraska’s President and their chancellor releasing a statement that they are not pursuing playing any football games outside of the BiG

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    1. In that short practice video that Pitt put out, I was disappointed to see that Pitt appeared to be taking no special measures to combat the virus. Masks down on the coaches; no face shields that I could see…

      Very disappointing – get a medical person there and follow their recommendations…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  34. Per Trib Pitt cancelled football practice today due to fear of symptomatic players. Test results came back negative so practice on for tomorrow. Welcome to the 2020 football season however short it may be.

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    1. And did you notice that Pitt did not clarify whether the negative tests that came back were for the symptomatic players or all other players.tested. Friday’s practice could be doable because there is enough players to hold practice and the symptomatic players that tested positive can be identified and held out of practice.

      Like

  35. Note to Tex: blood, sweat, spit and breathing and talking at very close distances, is a typical night in many Oakland bars. You could even add in some semen.

    Like

    1. And the bars caused Texas to shut down. So football and bars are no different then. Bars closed. Why football open. Mo money that’s why and selfish fanbases.

      Like

  36. With that being said, I am going to try to get my ticket money refunded… I have no stomach for what is happening to the game and this movement.. …It an easy commute to Annapolis to see student athletes compete- America’s best ..

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Agree Bernie. If I lived closer, I’d make the Saturdays with you. I’ve spent a season’s worth of home games in that stadium.

    Like

  38. I think a tailgate in Frans driveway would be the best idea. We pitch tents on the 18th fairway and build a nice bonfire afterwards, that should go over big? 🙂 haha

    Like

  39. 14 policeman have been killed due to the rioting. 14! Cops lives matter! If I was the President I would go full out martial law but first I would remove mayor Wheeler of Portland, Gordon Lightfoot’s illegitimate grand-daughter in Chicago and de blasio from office.

    ike who is locked and loaded sitting with Mr Rogers sharing a Hotel Loyal Pizza and he’s still without a scratch on him.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. as I recall, one Pitt player kneeled a few years ago, and he was a non-schollie (white) kicker, Now I have no idea what will happen this season but maybe you should realize …. but as of right now, none of you alleged Pitt fans should have have any issue here with your school’s FB program.

    Like

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