NCAA establishes new advisory panel, resources regarding coronavirus
With the number of states reporting COVID-19 coronavirus cases increasing each day, the NCAA is taking the necessary steps and precautions to ensure collegiate sporting events remain safe not only for players, but for spectators as well.
On March 3, the NCAA announced the creation of a coronavirus advisory panel, consisting of leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts from their respective fields and NCAA member schools.The purpose of the advisory panel will be to assess the spread and potential risk of the coronavirus, and the impact it may have on upcoming NCAA sporting events — such as the NCAA Tournament in late March.
“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” Donald Remy, NCAA chief operating officer, said in a press release on the association’s website. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.”
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the immediate health risk posed by COVID-19 coronavirus is still considered low for the general public, the NCAA says they will be continually monitoring the situation and spread, as the CDC states the potential for a future public health threat is “very high,” both within the U.S. and globally.
“The NCAA will make decisions that are first and foremost reflective of medical best practices and keeps the health and safety of student-athletes, administrators and fans as the number one priority,” Remy said.
NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline will lead the coronavirus advisory panel, which will also include:
- Stephanie Chu, M.D. – Team physician, University of Colorado, Boulder; Member, NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports
- Carlos del Rio, M.D. – Chair, Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health
- Colleen Kraft, M.D. – Associate chief medical officer, Emory University Hospital
- Vivek Murthy, M.D. – 19th Surgeon General of the United States; Member, NCAA Board of Governors
- Mike Rodriguez – Senior director, U.S. Tennis Association and U.S. Open Security
- William Schaffner, M.D. – Professor, Preventive Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Collegiate athlete liaisons from their respective divisions will also provide their perspective to the advisory panel. These liaisons include:
- Nicholas Clark – Former Coastal Carolina college athlete and Board of Governors Student-Athlete Engagement Committee chair
- Caroline Lee – Southeastern Louisiana college athlete; NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division I SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
- Mary Northcutt – Carson-Newman college athlete; NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division II SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
- Isaiah Swann – University of Texas at Dallas college athlete; NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division III SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport