YOU TALKIN’ TO ME – APRIL 3
By Leo Haggerty & Rob Kriete

IS IT TIME FOR THE NCAA TO STOP TESTING ATHLETES

Brooklyn, I realize that for a good portion of over a year we have been completed secluded when it comes to sports in the United States.  We are just starting to see the “light of day'” as it applies to coming out on the other side of the pandemic from an athletic standpoint.

The testing of athletes is a hot-button issue in this country and there’s no “middle of the road” opinion.  Either you want to see testing continue or you want it to eliminate it completely.  I guess that’s why we chose this topic, right?

With that being said, I believe it’s time that we move on when it comes to testing athletes. Here’s why I am making that statement.

When it comes to the overall population in the United States, our college and pro athletes are in the best shape of any individual group.  They are the best equipped to physically fight off any life-threatening effects caused by testing positive to Covid.

So, Big Apple Guy, let’s call it what it is.  The coronavirus, to that cross-section of populous, is not deadly.  To these folks, it’s just a bad case of the flu if even that,

We’re not talking about a bunch of people who are older and have existing health issues that are susceptible to succumbing to the virus-like myself.  Were talking about a group that is the healthiest in our society.  The group that’s at the top of the chart when it comes to health and fitness.  They’re at the top of the healthy mountain so to speak.

Brooklyn, I’m not the “lone voice in the wilderness” and let me site you an example.  Baylor Women’s Head Coach Kim Mulkey is being vilified for her statement when it comes to testing.  All the three-time NCAA champion stated was obvious when she said, “Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that test positive or something and they don’t get to play in the Final Four?”

The eight teams that are still standing in both the Men’s and Women’s tournament have been sequestered in a way that’s similar to a maximum-security prison.  Their movements are extremely limited and constantly monitored.  The chances of any of those players testing positive is “extremely remote” and that’s quoting the NCAA medical staff.

With all that being said, let me leave you with this salient fact. As of today, no college or professional athlete has passed away from any Covid related health issues. Basically, athletes in that group have a better chance of dying from being hit by a bus than from the coronavirus.

Now the ball is in your court.  Brooklyn, prove me wrong because I’m talkin’ to you.

Low Ball, sometimes I wonder if you are living in a different universe.

You are giving all the right reasons to continue testing, Low Ball. The reason why no player has passed away is most likely due to their frequent testing. And we know that Covid-19 strikes different people in different ways based on many factors. Sure, statistically, it affects older individuals more so than the young, but they are not exempt.

The reason for the “sequestering” is as much for the safety of the players as it is for the safety of the revenue! When these players contract Covid-19, entire teams are understandably quarantined. When that happens, games get canceled and revenue is negatively affected. Regardless of the cost or inconvenience, the testing must continue.

Ultimately, Low Ball, if the tests are readily available and it potentially saves Covid-19 infections and league revenues, it is super short-sighted to argue against such measures.

Let ’em, play, Low Ball, but let ’em play safely!