Nutter Center | Photograph by Soham Parikh | The Wright State Guardian
College athletics are slowly starting to open back up and begin practices. Ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes is at the forefront of what the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Wright State University (WSU) want to accomplish.
There are a multitude of protocols in place for teams and student-athletes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“When a player tests positive they will be placed in quarantine. If able, they will be sent home or they will be moved to housing set aside by the university. Once they return, they will follow a plan that requires an EKG, blood work and follow up with a team physician,” said Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Nick Phillips.
The protocols that are in place are decided by the university. Each state and city has different rules and regulations. Each university makes their own decision on how to handle these situations.
How the NCAA helps
The NCAA has established a new coronavirus Medical Advisory Group that brings together professionals from all three divisions and the power five conferences in Division 1.
“This group of infectious disease, public health and medical experts includes some members from the original advisory panel, plus representatives from organizations and medical groups that have been working collaboratively with the advisory panel and NCAA schools,” according to the NCAA’s website.
The purpose of the Medical Advisory Group is to review new research and data to help provide guidance to the NCAA.
Extreme measures are necessary
Even though there is no guarantee that a surface or room is completely germ-free, WSU will do everything they possibly can to make student-athletes feel safe.
“The Wright State Department of Athletics plan for the Resocialization of Student Athletes has been developed to safely and responsibly return student-athletes to campus and resume varsity athletics operations while continuing to hold safety and wellness as the top priority,” according to WSU’s website.
There have been numerous phases for athletes returning to facilities and beginning practice, they will continue to take their time and not rush anyone to get back to practice.
If a student-athlete were to test positive for coronavirus, WSU will try to find where that athlete got it from so that they can mitigate the spread.
“If we have any type of outbreak we will trace and potentially eliminate practices for a quarantine period. Surveillance testing may also be implemented with a more regular schedule,” said Phillips.
There are no protocols yet if this were to happen in season because there isn’t a start date for any sport yet.
Whenever the NCAA and Horizon League determine the schedule and testing protocols, then WSU will adjust protocols to match what is needed.