By the book

You know how we’ve sort of half-assed speculated about which schools might try to fudge testing data so as to keep their players eligible on game days?

Well, here’s your list of suspects.

As debate swirls about the return of college fall sports amid an increasing number of positive COVID-19 tests on campuses, football coaches and athletic directors have been loudly championing their schools’ health and testing protocols.

The schools are much less forthcoming, though, about the actual number of positive tests in their programs and other related data.

In response to a series of questions from ESPN about their COVID-19 testing protocols, almost half of the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences declined to share data about how many positive tests their programs have had to date. Nearly a third of the schools overall declined to provide information about protocols in addition to withholding the number of athletes who have tested positive. Twenty-one schools that declined to provide data are in the conferences that plan to play college sports this fall: the ACC, Big 12 and SEC.

Screenshot_2020-09-04 Survey Some Power 5 schools veil COVID data

You want a reason?

Many of the schools that declined to give data to ESPN cited federal student privacy laws, university protocols and other confidentiality considerations, although legal experts say those laws shouldn’t be applied to such a request because the data wouldn’t identify specific students.

If you don’t find that convincing, how about this?

“We’ve just followed our university protocols when we do have positive tests, whether they be staff, student-athletes or what have you,” said Greg McGarity, athletics director at Georgia, one of the schools that declined to answer any of the nine survey questions. “They’re reported through the university channels, and everything is done by the book.”

I don’t have any reason to think Georgia is going to be one of those programs trying to skirt its way through the season, given the absurd depth Smart has to work with, but how weird is it to see McGarity being more secretive than Saban or Swinney?

Anyway, somebody’s gonna try and I wonder what the repercussions will be if/when they’re caught.

15 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

15 responses to “By the book

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    One detail to bear in mind there: Dabo already had his “non-mandatory” Chicken Pox party for the Clemson squad, so he thinks he’s in the clear anyway.

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  2. akascuba

    I believe ADGM is no longer in charge of the football program. He is now a figure head who does as told by his paymasters.

    There have been way too many common sense things come out of that office recently to think he still is making all the calls. I`m saying this based on his past track record pre-Kirby.

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    • Down Island Way

      Wasn’t aware that the “what have you’s” were tested for covid-19, thanks for that timely update from the UGA ad…

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  3. sniffer

    Maybe I missed something, but it’s not my right to know if, how or when they test, treat or quarantine any student. Can’t blame espn for asking. Surprised any school responded with numbers. The suits at disney are looking at the broadcast schedule and wondering if they will have full roster team to play those games. I don’t think they care one whit about the well fair of the kids. As Bluto always reminds us, its about the money.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      Many of these schools are public institutions supported by taxpayers, not to mention there’s a pandemic with a death toll nearing 200,000 in this country, with about 6,000 in GA. I sure as hell have a right to know if there are positive tests. Some people actually think its important to know what the f^*k is going on around them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. MGW

    Guarantee the administrations are papering their files with “we need to be so strict” memos but turning a blind eye to coaches efforts to skirt the rules and keep the team competitive and playing. Precisely the same way they do with players being paid by donors/bagmen.

    Then when some shit hits the fan they can turn around and blame the coach, who’s probably taking the same tact with his staffers.

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  5. Castleberry

    Like anything else, the repercussions will depend on who gets caught and which way the wind is blowing that day.

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  6. Spell Dawg

    It would be incredibly short-sighted and foolish. Can you imagine if it can be proven a school knowingly let a (presumed) positive player play? The legal repercussions (both civil and criminal) arising from anyone contracting Covid that had contact with that player are legion. Not just the players; support staff, stadium personnel, anyone who had contact with that player could bring suit.

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  7. stoopnagle

    To McGarity’s credit, he’s definitely in line with UGA policy. If faculty have a positive test reported for their class, they can’t tell the class. And if you’re a supervisor, you have strict instructions on who to notify (usually one person) if one of your staff are positive. UGA is holding these numbers close. Which tells you all you need to know about transparency in Georgia where this shit is concerned.

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  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Well, if we are going to play football this year, and if teams do not disclose positive tests, how is an opposing team going to know or even have confidence that it is safe its own players to take the field? Maybe ESPN doesn’t need to know, but if/when we play Arkansas in a couple of weeks I want to know that the players they have on the field are clean, and I think they will want the same from us. How is that being handled?

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    • spur21

      I’d guess the SEC is well aware of test results / positives and quarantines and will share that internally. To not follow that could open up huge liability issues.

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