Report: ACC's top medical advisor believes college football can be played in fall
The ACC is planning to move forward with a fall football schedule. It has support from the conference’s top medical advisor, according to a report from the Sports Business Journal.
Dr. Cameron Wolfe, a Duke infectious disease specialist who chairs the ACC’s medical advisory team, told the Sports Business Journal that he believes there is a safe way to play college football during the fall. While he admits there will be a risk factor involved, he thinks there’s a path to playing.
“We believe we can mitigate it down to a level that makes everyone safe,” Wolfe said. “Can we safely have two teams meet on the field? I would say yes. Will it be tough? Yes. Will it be expensive and hard and lots of work? For sure. But I do believe you can sufficiently mitigate the risk of bringing COVID onto the football field or into the training room at a level that’s no different than living as a student on campus.”
Wolfe’s optimism about playing a season comes as the Power 5 conference leaders begin discussing the possibility of moving forward with a college football season. Already, there have been reports that the B1G and Pac-12 are considering cancelling or postponing all fall sports until the spring.
There was an acknowledgement that football is not a risk-free environment for potentially being infected by COVID-19. However, Wolfe says that there are risks with playing football, even without the threat of a virus.
“You have to feel some level of comfortable playing in a non-zero risk environment. You can’t tell me that running onto a football field is supposed to be a zero-risk environment,” Wolfe told the Sports Business Journal. “Look at all of the regular sporting injuries that we accept as a certain level of risk as part and parcel of football. Now the reality is that we have to accept a little bit of COVID risk to be a part of that.”
Right now, the ACC is still planning to play football in the fall. However, no final decisions have been made at this time.