Tuesday, September 15, 2020   
In Sally's path: An island that's seen its share of storms.
As Hurricane Sally crawled through the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, it was pummeling a patch of sea south of Dauphin Island, Ala., with sustained winds of 61 miles per hour. And the island was one of the places where the National Hurricane Center had forecast storm surges of four to seven feet. Dauphin Island has seen its share of big storms since the 1990s. Two back-to-back hurricanes, Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2005, destroyed more than 300 homes, for example. Photos and videos posted to social media on Monday showed gray storm clouds looming above Dauphin Island homes sitting on wooden stilts, steps from the Gulf of Mexico. "You can see clearly that the waves are up and the water's starting to come over the road a little bit," Greg Nordstrom, a meteorology instructor at Mississippi State University, said in a video that he made while leaving the island on Monday evening. "So if you're on Dauphin Island, the time to leave is now."
Preparing for possible power outages from Hurricane Sally
Winds from Hurricane Sally could result in power outages here in the Pine Belt, and it's important to be prepared beforehand. "One thing to keep in mind is not to pay too much attention to the center of the cone. Impacts can extend well beyond the cone," said Dr. Kim Wood, assistant professor of meteorology at Mississippi State University's Department of Geosciences. It's predicted to slow down, which means more rain and longer periods of wind over our area. "The rains will loosen up the soil and make trees more prone to being blown over by that longer duration of winds, so a concern will be widespread power outages if the winds blow for a while in combination with this heavy rain," Wood said.
Hurricane Sally slows, gathering a deluge for the Gulf Coast
Hurricane Sally, a plodding storm with winds of 85 mph, crept toward the northern Gulf Coast early Tuesday as forecasters warned of potentially deadly storm surges and flash floods with up to 2 feet of rain and the possibility of tornadoes. Forecasters stressed "significant" uncertainty as to where the storm's eye would make landfall. But they kept nudging the predicted track eastward, easing fears in New Orleans, which was once in Sally's crosshairs. By early Tuesday, hurricane warnings stretched from the mouth of the Pearl River at the Louisiana-Mississippi line to Navarre, Florida, and forecasters said Sally should reach land near the Alabama-Mississippi state line by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. People along the coast appeared to be taking the storm seriously even as it remained offshore. Coastal casinos shut down under orders from the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Motorists filled a convenience store parking lot in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, as they topped off gas tanks and stocked up on ice, beer and snacks.
Mississippi extends mask mandate, eases other virus rules
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is extending a statewide mask mandate through the end of September, saying Monday he believes it is helping slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The rule about wearing masks in public is part of an executive order the Republican governor issued Sunday. The order eased some limitations on businesses. Restaurants may serve more dine-in customers, with the governor now allowing 75% capacity, up from the previous 50%. Restaurants may also seat up to 10 people at one table, up from the previous limit of six. Tables must remain at least 6 feet apart. Retail stores and gyms may operate at 75% capacity, up from the previous limit of 50%. Gyms may remain open 24 hours a day. "We have had a tremendous move towards progress in our state," Reeves said Monday.
Gov. Tate Reeves extends statewide mask mandate to Sept. 30
Mississippians will be expected to mask up through September. Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday he has extended an executive order mandating the wearing of masks in public places in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The executive order was scheduled to expire Monday morning, but now expires on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. Reeves reported 145 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths Monday. He said the number of new deaths was "the lowest in recent memory." Reeves said for the first time in weeks, the seven day total new cases had dipped to below 3,000. It peaked at more than 9,000 in late July. "According to the White House, we are no longer in the red zone," Reeves said. "I simply want everyone to understand now is not the time to let your guard down....We want people to continue to wear your mask. We want people to continue to social distance."
Lagging behind other states, Gov. Tate Reeves makes $23 million in education relief funds available
After more than three months, Gov. Tate Reeves' office is seeking applications for a portion of a $34.6 million pot of federal COVID-19 relief funds for education -- well after most other states have awarded their funds. The federal government awarded Mississippi its emergency money June 1, but Reeves' office only issued its funding priorities and request for proposals for $23 million of those funds last week. Most states -- and all of those in the deep South excluding Mississippi and Tennessee -- have already submitted their initial 45-day reports detailing how the funds are being spent. Florida, for example, used part of the funds to award "summer recovery grants" to school districts in July. But despite being approved for funding by the federal government on June 1, a request for proposals went out Sept. 10. The deadline for schools and other eligible groups to apply for the funds is Sept. 24. Renae Eze, communications director for Reeves, said the next portion of the request for proposals will be released as soon as the current funds are awarded. The deadline for funds to be awarded from the governor's office is by June 1, 2021.
Cities Were Filled With Mass Protests in the Summer of 2020. They Are Different Now
Months of mass protests have given way to more violent and even deadly demonstrations, driven by extremists who are flocking to them. Law-enforcement officials say they are alarmed by the presence of armed fringe groups from both sides of the political spectrum at the protests and say the deadly shootings late last month in Kenosha, Wis., and Portland, Ore., raise the prospect of a new wave of political violence. Forces ratcheting up the intensity at rallies include outrage expressed by many about the treatment of Black Americans by police, divisions over pandemic restrictions, an economic downturn that left millions of Americans jobless and a contentious national election, current and former law-enforcement officials say. Police have struggled to stop the violence and have faced criticism for allowing protests to descend into chaos, while more armed fringe groups have been drawn to the fray, experts say. The growth in the number of U.S. extremist networks over the past decade and the diverse ideologies these often informal groups encompass have made it hard to keep tabs on who is showing up to protests and why, experts said.
Polls show trust in scientific, political institutions eroding
The American public is beginning to lose trust in political leaders and scientific institutions as the coronavirus pandemic drags into its sixth month, troubling signs that raise the prospect that millions of Americans may not take advice or get a vaccine once one becomes available. Two new surveys show most Americans still trust leading scientists and institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but that those levels of trust are beginning to erode. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans trust the CDC, according to a survey conducted by the COVID-19 Consortium for Understanding the Public's Policy Preferences Across States, a group of researchers at Northeastern University, Harvard, Rutgers and Northwestern University. That figure is down from 87 percent who said they trusted the Atlanta-based CDC in April. A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 67 percent of Americans have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the CDC to provide reliable information about the coronavirus. Trust in institutions will become an urgent necessity if and when a potential vaccine is found to be safe and effective, experts said. If Americans do not trust those who tell them a vaccine is safe, they will be less likely to accept it, prolonging a pandemic that might otherwise be brought under control.
For 'Ike,' A Monument Unlike Any Other: Eisenhower Memorial Is Dedicated In D.C.
Dwight David Eisenhower was one of the towering figures of the 20th century: A five-star general, he led the D-Day invasion and helped defeat the Nazis. A two-term president, he brought stability to postwar America. Since his death in 1969, memories of the man called Ike have faded. But this week, the dedication of an Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., will bring him vividly back to mind. This memorial is not like any other presidential monument in Washington. No sky-piercing white obelisk (George Washington), no massive, looming bronze statue (Abraham Lincoln.) The Eisenhower is just a bit above street level with somewhat larger than life sculptures. It sits on 4 acres of a nondescript street near the National Mall and the Air and Space Museum. Modern and clean, with geometrical shapes, it's designed by star architect Frank Gehry. An open-air plaza with two tableaux, set several feet apart, highlights major points of Ike's career. On one, bronze sculptures of General Eisenhower, talking with his men before D-Day. On the other, President Eisenhower standing with three assistants in front of a map of the world carved into the limestone wall.
Prominent Southern Baptists are dropping 'Southern' name amid racial unrest
Leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention are increasingly dropping the "Southern" part of their Baptist name, calling it a potentially painful reminder of the convention's historic role in support of slavery. The 50,000 Baptist churches in the convention are autonomous and can still choose to refer to themselves as "Southern Baptist" or "SBC." But in his first interview on the topic, convention president J.D. Greear said momentum has been building to adopt the name "Great Commission Baptists," both because of the racial reckoning underway in the United States and because many have long seen the "Southern Baptist" name as too regional for a global group of believers. The shift takes place at the end of a summer of racial unrest, when Confederate monuments have been removed, schools have been renamed and the Washington football team has dropped its moniker and is looking for a new one. For Southern Baptists, the change also reflects a long-standing desire to remove confusion when the convention launches churches in the Northern United States and overseas.
Copiah-Lincoln Community College named a '2020 Great College to Work For'
Copiah-Lincoln Community College, which has a campus in Natchez, is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Great Colleges to Work For program. The results, released Monday in a special insert of The Chronicle of Higher Education, are based on a survey of 221 colleges and universities. In all, 79 of the 221 institutions achieved "Great College to Work For" recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium and large institutions, with Co-Lin included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students. "This is a very satisfying affirmation of Co-Lin, but our real goal is not recognition -- it's being a community that values the needs and contributions of every individual. In that sense, everyone at Co-Lin helps to make this a great place to work," said Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon Sims.
Virtual lab learning poses challenges for some Auburn students
Many labs have been moved online or partially online, taking away all or most of the hands-on aspects of class material because of Auburn University's COVID-19 guidelines. For some students, this has been a challenge. Susanne Voltz, sophomore in chemical engineering, has two classes that require a lab this semester -- biology and organic chemistry. Her biology class is fully online, while her organic chemistry class is only partially online. Voltz said the online labs are tolerable, but not ideal. "I definitely think not having in-person labs ... [means] the material won't settle in as well," she said. "I am a bit concerned because I am on the pre-med track, so I don't need to take a ton of biology, but the little I do, I really have to know it. So for us to not be having in-person labs, that makes me concerned about studying for the [Medical College Admission Test]." Right now, Voltz either takes an entrance and exit quiz online to "complete" her lab, or she goes in person every other week. Not meeting in person makes it harder for her and her classmates to understand the material, and it's hard to not be in labs when you're a hands-on learner, she said.
LSU isn't reporting as many coronavirus cases as some schools. How is it tracking the virus?
While confirmed cases of the coronavirus at LSU have slowly risen, they have not soared as fast as some other universities, like Southeastern Conference counterparts Alabama and Georgia. As of Friday afternoon, LSU has reported 673 confirmed cases since students returned to campus on Aug. 15. The university has nearly 40,000 students, faculty and staff. Georgia, which has closer to 50,000 total students, faculty and staff has reported 3,045 positive cases. Alabama, which has about 45,000 students, faculty and staff with 2,240 positive cases. If cases were to start soaring to those levels, how would LSU know? The school's primary tool for tracking the virus is its TIGER Check Daily Symptom Checker. TIGER stands for: TRACK symptoms, ISOLATE, GET tested, EXERCISE caution and REPORT positive cases. LSU leaders have said the university can't enforce its way out of the pandemic. They says they're relying on students, staff and faculty to cooperate to keep cases under control.
Enrollment at UT is up this year, with a record number of first-year students in Knoxville
Enrollment at two University of Tennessee campuses is up this year, including a record number of first-year students at UT Knoxville. There are over 52,500 students enrolled in the UT System this year, up from just over 51,500 last year. Enrollment at UT Knoxville is up by nearly 1,100 students this semester, for a total enrollment of 30,559 students, according to information from the UT System. Enrollment at UT Chattanooga is up by about 100 students, with a total enrollment of 11,696. UT Martin and the UT Health Science Center, however, both saw small declines in their enrollment. Despite challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, UT System President Randy Boyd said he's optimistic about the state of the System. "I couldn't be more excited in the face of all these challenges," Boyd said on Friday. "We're taking each challenge each day." In total, there are 52,560 students enrolled across the UT System, a 1.9% increase over last year.
Texas A&M graduate workers protest working conditions
Dozens of students marched at Texas A&M University's campus on Monday, calling on the school to permit any graduate worker to teach remotely if they so choose. Provost and Executive Vice President Carol Fierke said graduate student employees, like faculty, are given a provision for remote teaching to accommodate personnel with a higher risk of COVID-19 complications. The Grad Aggies for Worker Safety group is asking for the offer to be extended to everyone who makes a request to teach remotely, regardless of medical necessity since undergraduate students are permitted to learn online for any reason. GAWS spokesperson Desirae Embree, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of English, said her department has honored all requests for remote teaching, but she knows of many others who have had requests denied. "We're looking for the university to implement the best departmental practices at a university level," she said, "so that there aren't graduate students that are being left to sort of fend for themselves under pandemic conditions." Other demands that GAWS outlined in an August letter to A&M officials include hazard pay for graduate workers who choose to teach in-person courses and one-year extensions of assistantships or other employment for graduate workers whose progress is delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
U. of Missouri journalism faculty call for transparency, free speech in letter to Mun Choi
Fifteen University of Missouri School of Journalism faculty members issued a letter Monday criticizing recent actions by UM System President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi that they believe discouraged dissent. The letter warned of a possible "chilling effect" on the journalism program and free speech at MU. The letter comes days after Choi drew criticism by blocking MU students on his personal Twitter account, several of whom had been critical of the university's public health and safety measures this fall. Choi unblocked the students after he came under scrutiny on social media and an MU alumnus threatened legal action. "As the university confronts unprecedented financial challenges, and the likelihood of further layoffs and belt-tightening, an implied intolerance of dissent looms as a very real threat," they wrote. "Already, a few colleagues and students have confided that they fear speaking out will put their jobs or scholarships at risk." The letter cites Choi's comments in a July interview with the Columbia Daily Tribune, in which he told senior MU leaders to fall in line with decision-making and criticized two journalism instructors for speaking out on social media.
The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state's public colleges
For Bernie Machen, it started before he'd been hired. The University of Florida's Board of Trustees was looking for a president who would commit to moving the institution up the U.S. News and World Report's college rankings. "The thing that would bring us all together was to be able to bring the university, that we all went to and loved, to the top 10," said Manny Fernandez, a tech-company executive who chaired the 2003 presidential search. At the time, the University of Florida ranked No. 52 over all and No. 17 among public universities. The board wanted to see the Gators among the top 10 public institutions. Fernandez was tired of the reactions he would get when he divulged his alma mater at parties. Either people wouldn't have really heard of the University of Florida -- "or somebody would say, 'Wasn't that voted No. 1 party school by Playboy?'" Fernandez was offended. "I believe I am who I am today because I went to this school," he said. "We needed to change the external perception of the University of Florida." U.S. News was one very effective way to do that. Machen, too, believed in the goal. While many people inside and outside of higher education today argue that a high ranking doesn't necessarily translate to quality, Machen believed in many of U.S. News's metrics. "I feel that many of them are relevant and worth shooting for," he said, "and I think improving on those variables made us a better institution."
Some health experts push back against an undercurrent of pessimism about college reopenings
The higher education sphere has seen an undercurrent of pessimism about colleges reopening. Cases have soared at some large universities and many colleges have sent their students home. Some have said the experiment of inviting students back was doomed and dangerous from the start. Others have taken a more positive outlook. Health officials at the University of Alabama, which has seen nearly 2,000 cumulative cases this semester, defended their strategies last weekend, saying "nothing has gone wrong" with their approach. Of course, not everyone is dealing with such high caseloads. Villanova, which Inside Higher Ed visited in mid-August, has had only 64 published cases since the start of the semester. Deciding whether colleges can or have reopened successfully depends on one's definition of success. Gerri Taylor, co-chair of the American College Health Association's COVID-19 task force, said she doesn't see high case numbers as evidence of failure. "They have been working day and night, tirelessly, to develop plans, to learn from others, to collaborate with public health," she said. Large numbers are often from large institutions, and there isn't currently a standard for reporting case numbers or other data, she said.
Coronavirus on campus: Purdue's reopening 'manageable' as campuses retreat, higher ed monitors Mitch Daniels' plan
Two things were happening at Purdue's West Lafayette campus last week, about the time another major, four-year school -- this time Big Ten rival University of Wisconsin – pivoted from its in-person, residential campus reopening plans to deal with spikes in student coronavirus cases during the first weeks of classes. The first, Purdue set its spring semester schedule. It was more than a hint that the university was thinking beyond the fall semester and that the university was finding things -- as Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer at the Protect Purdue Health Center, put it three weeks into Purdue's highly-watched reopening effort – "manageable, so far." Even with 389 student cases since Aug. 1 -- including 184 recorded in the most recent seven days -- Purdue's campus testing positive rate of 3.8 percent over the past week was in range of Tippecanoe County's rate of 3.9 percent and below the state's 5.1 percent. The second, in a tip to trends seen on other campuses, Ramirez said the university was still negotiating to add to the 884 isolation beds available on and near campus for students who test positive for COVID-19. Getting to 1,000 beds was the aim, he said. With 50 beds taken, as of the end of the week, Ramirez said the hope was that Purdue would "never come remotely close" to using that much isolation space, but that "it's better to have that ahead of time and utilize it as we need to than to try to scrounge around and find it in the middle of a panic."
U. of Wisconsin-Madison eliminates spring break
The University of Wisconsin-Madison decided Monday to eliminate spring break next semester in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The university's Faculty Senate voted 140-7 to erase the nine-day break from the 2021 spring calendar. Officials said the move is designed to discourage students and staff from traveling long distances and bringing the virus that causes COVID-19 back to campus, officials said. "I realize the slog of going through a full 15 week semester with no break would be challenging, but given the vagaries of the pandemic, particularly in cold weather when people are indoors and the like. ... I'm enthusiastically supportive," said Provost John Karl Scholz. The idea got a lukewarm reception from some senators and students. Sen. Kurt Paulsen, an urban planning professor, asked why the spring semester couldn't start on its regular schedule. Sen. John Mackay, a philosophy professor, warned that students will travel anyway. If the semester goes online, students will just log-on from Florida for a week, he predicted.
Foreign trolls are trying to sway SC voters. 2 Clemson profs made a new game to spot them.
Earlier this year, a Russian-backed troll farm in Ghana tried to set up a satellite office in Charleston. At the same time, Russian operatives used fake social media accounts to castigate South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. And they pumped out posts touting Bernie Sanders over Joe Biden in South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary. Now, as the November election nears, two Clemson University social media disinformation experts are warning South Carolina voters to be extra vigilant. Russian operatives have struck here in the recent past. And they're likely working now to confuse, inflame and weaken the country, said Darren Linvill, a professor in Clemson's communications department. Russian trolls work especially hard to amplify existing racial divisions, he said. The internet has long been populated by trolls --- people who start quarrels and post inflammatory messages. But foreign governments, especially Russia and China, have deployed trolls to amplify the voices of Americans with extremist views.
Black scientists call out racism in the field and counter it
University of Washington ecologist Christopher Schell is studying how coronavirus shutdowns have affected wildlife in Seattle and other cities. But when planning fieldwork, he also thinks about how he's perceived in neighborhoods where he installs wildlife cameras. "I wear the nerdiest glasses I have and often a jacket that has my college logo, so that people don't mistake me for what they think is a thug or hooligan," said Schell, who is African American. The recent episode of a white woman calling the police on a Black birder in New York's Central Park shocked many people. But for Black environmental scientists, worrying about whether they are likely to be harassed or asked to justify their presence while doing fieldwork is a familiar concern. Overt harassment and subtle intimidation during fieldwork compound the discrimination that Black scientists and those from other underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds already feel in academic settings. Now researchers in the environmental sciences are increasingly raising issues of discrimination and marginalization in the wake of a national reckoning on race.

Dakota Hudson, other former Mississippi State standouts thriving as MLB season winds down
Dakota Hudson is helping the St. Louis Cardinals fight for a postseason berth. Entering Monday's games with two weeks remaining in MLB's truncated season, Hudson has a 3-2 record with a 2.92 ERA in 37 innings pitched. The right-hander has 31 strikeouts and a 0.97 WHIP. Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Adam Frazier has recovered from a slow start, hitting .286 in his last 15 games. On the season, Frazier has a .228 batting average with five home runs and 17 runs driven in. Former Diamond Dawg Brent Rooker made his long awaited debut with the Minnesota Twins at 25 years old, slashing .316/.381/.579 with a home run and five RBI in seven games. Unfortunately, Rooker suffered a fractured forearm and is out for the remainder of the season. Jonathan Holder continues to put up dominating numbers in the New York Yankees' bullpen, as the right-hander has pitched to a 2.08 ERA with a 3-0 record. Holder has 14 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.
Mississippi State launches 'Stand-In' program for 2020 season
Stadium capacity in college football venues across Mississippi remains limited to 25%, but programs continue to find ways to fill the empty seats. Mississippi State has become the latest to announce its cardboard cutout 'Stand-In' program for football games and soccer matches. According to MSU Athletics, there are several different options ranging from $30-$150. The deadline to secure your spot in the stands is September 21st.
Brett Favre says Deion Sanders should be Southern Miss football coach
In an Incompas video interview posted Monday featuring Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, the former Southern Miss quarterback had a lot of hot takes. But one take that stands out with implications for the state of Mississippi is when one Hall of Famer endorsed another one. In the 14-minute video, Favre is asked who he thinks will be the next football coach for his beloved Golden Eagles, and though, he admits that he's not "in the know," that didn't stop him from voicing his opinion. And this is where things get good. Favre wants his alma mater to go Primetime. That's right, the former NFL MVP wants Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill offensive coordinator Deion Sanders to be USM's next coach to replace Jay Hopson, who stepped down after losing the season opener to South Alabama. "I think (Sanders) would be great for Southern Miss," Favre said. And when asked if Sanders would be interested in the job, Favre replied "absolutely." "I think he would do a tremendous job, and we all know he can recruit, and we all know that he can bring attention."
'We're Not Running Sports to Primarily Make Money': NIL Hearing to Put Collegiate Revenues in Spotlight
One of the nation's most respected university presidents plans to tell Congressional lawmakers on Tuesday that college programs do not sponsor athletics with the purpose of generating revenue. "The business model for college athletics is greatly misunderstood by the public," Wisconsin chancellor Rebecca Blank says in written testimony. "We're not running sports to primarily make money." Sports Illustrated obtained the 1,700-word testimony that Blank submitted ahead of a hearing Tuesday on name, image and likeness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. While she agrees that NIL reform is needed, Blank plans to tell senators that an unchecked athlete-compensation model could adversely impact Olympic sports and that athletes are already given a "generous package" of benefits that includes thousands of dollars in education, unlimited meals, state-of-the-art medical care and other on-campus resources -- many of which normal students do not receive, she notes in the testimony.
LSU says students who test for coronavirus will have priority for football tickets
LSU sent students an email Monday saying students who complete a coronavirus test any time after Tuesday will have priority consideration for student tickets for the 2020 football season. The university announced last week Tiger Stadium will begin at 25% capacity when LSU hosts Mississippi State on Sept. 26, and interim LSU president Tom Galligan said at the time a plan was being finalized that would require students to prove they tested negative for COVID-19 to attend games. The student ticket plan, according to the email, makes testing an incentive to receive tickets. The email directed students to the testing facility options on campus. Brian Broussard, LSU's assistant athletics director over ticket operations, said Friday the student section won't have general admission seating, as it normally does, and that LSU was still finalizing plans to space students out in small groups. According to the email, the student ticketing plan -- developed by the LSU ticket office and the university's student government -- calls for all tickets to be reserved seating. Students can set up groups of a maximum of four people.
It's not just football players. The postponement of fall sports affects so many other college athletes -- just without the outcry.
When Loyola senior midfielder Giann Magno learned the fall soccer season was postponed because of COVID-19, he processed a mix of emotions. He was disappointed not to compete. He was relieved to have some finality to questions about whether he should continue preparing for fall games. Quickly, he moved on to acceptance. "On my team there is more so understanding," Magno said. "We had this conversation: Even if we were to have a season or try to have a season, it wouldn't be smart. It would take just one person on one team for that team to get shut down. We all know this is a problem, this virus. It is really prevalent in everyone's minds. We would be putting ourselves at risk and putting other people at risk that we know." Measured responses such as Magno's often aren't given the megaphone in the divided, intersecting world of sports, politics and COVID-19. Politicians even have weighed in, focusing their attention almost solely on football. All the while, athletes in cross-country, soccer, women's volleyball and field hockey quietly have digested the loss of their fall seasons too.
Co-author of Ohio State myocarditis study says it's no reason to cancel sports
This past weekend, Ohio State athletic department head physician Dr. James Borchers was among those who spoke virtually to a Big Ten committee considering a return to fall sports, which were put on hold on Aug. 11 in the conference's response to the coronavirus pandemic. What Borchers said is not known, but it is not a stretch to believe that myocarditis, a rare inflammation of the heart that can result in death, was part of the discussion. Borchers is co-author of an Ohio State study from this spring that found four of 26 college athletes who had tested positive for COVID-19 also showed signs of myocarditis, two of whom displayed mild symptoms and two of whom were asymptomatic. A concern about myocarditis reportedly was an issue that helped tipped the scales when the Big Ten decided in August not to proceed with fall sports. Borchers couldn't be reached for comment, but another co-author of the study, Ohio State cardiologist Dr. Curt Daniels, told The Columbus Dispatch that he believes interpretations of the results and the risk of myocarditis have been widely misconstrued. Daniels said he believes the study should be used as evidence for a responsible return to athletic competition, not as a reason to pull the plug on the season. "I think we have a safe way to return to play," Daniels said. "I hope that we will find a way to do so."

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