The Big Ten’s rumored decision on the 2020 college football was as surprising as it was sudden. But there may be a good reason that there was such an abrupt change of course.
On Monday, ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported that a heart condition called myocarditis was found in at least five Big Ten athletes, and in a handful of athletes from other conferences. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. It can affect a heart’s electrical system, reducing the heart’s ability to pump and cause rapid/abnormal heart rhythms.
Naturally, putting athletes through the rigors of college football who have that condition in the middle of a pandemic is a non-starter. Waivers or no waivers, it would be horrible for the Big Ten if anything happened to one of its athletes.
There have been a number of horror stories of athletes who have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course, the Big Ten has a very recent history of athletes losing their lives on its watch. The death of Maryland’s Jordan McNair in 2018 was a wakeup call to the entire sport.
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) August 10, 2020
So it should come as little surprise that the Big Ten is walking on eggshells right now.
Per Dinich’s report, the MAC suspended their college football season quickly after receiving the report on myocarditis.
Suffice it to say, the Big Ten and other college conferences now have yet another issue they need to navigate their way through.