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.
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.