Doctor at U.S. Center for Sports Medicine 'doesn't understand' decision from B1G
The B1G stole headlines two weeks ago, becoming the first Power 5 conference to postpone college football in 2020. And while the league’s commissioner and presidents may have expected a hero’s welcome on their decision, it’s been met with some serious scrutiny and backlash.
More than anything, players, coaches and parents have been calling for better communication and more transparency on the decision to pull the plug on the season. It’s still something they haven’t really received.
One of the frustrating aspects is that some medical professionals have been confused by the B1G’s decision. That includes Dr. Rick Lehman, an orthopedic surgeon and the founder of the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine.
“You’re 20 years old, you’re healthy and you get the virus,” Lehman told Gold & Black Illustrated. “So what? It doesn’t make any difference. My opinion is, all the canceling in the Pac-12, the B1G…these demands are just ridiculous. I don’t understand.”
Lehman says that, if the goal of universities was to eliminate student-athletes from ever being infected with the virus on campus, then maybe ending the season makes sense. But then again, why bring them back to campus in the first place for summer workouts?
“The reality of it is you’re not going to play any kind of football: high school, college, pro football, without a significant number of infections. it’s not gonna happen,” Lehman said. “So, in my opinion, it’s impossible to play football at any level and expect to not have infections. So, if that was their goal, they did what they thought was the best thing.”
When the B1G decided to pull the plug, commissioner Kevin Warren cited medical advice from experts in the field — though he failed to provide any hard evidence or data. It has been another reason for the pushback that’s been blown the way of the B1G office.
Lehman says he really doesn’t understand that, either.
“I don’t understand the lack of science in some of these decisions,” he said. I really don’t. And I think that’s really the crux of it. I think it was more of a knee jerk. And I get the sense there is legal liability. But in terms of the scientific…they yanked it so early. And in terms of a scientific decision, I have trouble with it.”
The B1G is one of four conferences that have backed out of a fall football season, along with the MAC, Mountain West and Pac-12.