As we’ve been talking about all week, the Big Ten has COVID-19 protocols that require players to sit out for 21 days following their positive test. The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 require 10-day isolations, in line with CDC guidance. Trevor Lawrence, and the timeline in which he may return to action after his positive test, illustrates the absurdity of this disparity with the Big Ten.
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz was tested this past Saturday and thus appears to be eligible for Wisconsin vs. Michigan on November 14th. However, there are other Wisconsin Badgers who tested positive this week, before Lawrence, who would not be eligible for the game against Michigan due to the 21-day rule. And then you look at Lawrence, who according to Adam Schefter would be eligible to play next week against Notre Dame, a week before a group of Badgers are STILL required to sit out:
Trevor Lawrence’s COVID test was taken Wednesday and that counts as day one in his 10-day countdown to be eligible to play next Saturday against Notre Dame, per source. It’s possible he had symptoms earlier, which could even push up his eligibility to play if he tests negative. https://t.co/3xHIFoNAu7
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 30, 2020
If the last few months have proven anything, it’s that the Big Ten is not more noble or sophisticated than the SEC, ACC, and Big 12. The ACC, where Trevor Lawrence and Clemson play, has a medical advisor, Dr. Cameron Wolfe, who is a Duke infectious disease specialist. The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 smartly postponed their season instead of canceling it like the Big Ten did in August, and as a result they have buffer space built into their seasons to absorb inevitable team outbreaks.
The rationale for the 21-day rule in Big Ten is that heart screenings for myocarditis can take weeks. However, Sports Illustrated documented earlier this week that a new nine-page report by leading sports cardiologists “indicates that doctors are finding so few heart abnormalities in COVID-positive athletes that they are no longer recommending any cardiac screenings for those who experienced mild symptoms or no symptoms.”
Hopefully, the Big Ten will adapt to this new information and adjust their rules.