College Football Update from “Mr. College Football” Tony Barnhart: Did Big Ten and Pac-12 Act Too Soon in Canceling Fall Football???

Tony Barnhart
@MrCFB/”Mr. College Football”

This from @DanWetzel….FDA approves a new test for COVID-19 that is cheaper and where results come in a matter of hours. If it works, it could be a game changer. And it could mean that the Big Ten and Pac-12 shut down football prematurely.

If COVID-19 saliva tests are game-changers, did Big Ten and Pac-12 act too soon in canceling fall football?
Dan Wetzel·Columnist/YAHOO Sports!

On Tuesday, the Big Ten and Pac-12 canceled fall sports, including football.

On Saturday, the FDA approved a coronavirus testing system known as SalivaDirect, which was developed by Yale University in conjunction with the NBA and the NBA Players Association.

SalivaDirect is considered a “game changer” in testing because it is cheaper (as low as $4 a test), faster (results can come within a couple of hours and be handled by nearly any lab in the country) and easier (saliva, not nasal swabs) than current tests.

If you need to repeatedly test lots of people (such as a college student body, let alone the football team that comes from it) on a daily basis then this is significant. Potentially very significant.

It can provide accurate, near real-time testing, and the ability to use that information to quickly quarantine anyone infected before they spread the virus. That could limit the infections within a team.

“If you test frequently enough you are going to pick up on the positives early on before there is a spread,” Robby Sikka, a doctor and the vice president of basketball, performance and technology for the Minnesota Timberwolves told Yahoo Sports on Saturday. Sikka played a key role in the study of the testing procedure.

The tests, perhaps 90 percent effective, aren’t perfect. Yet if you test often enough, that margin gets accounted for.

The inability to test quickly and in a cost-effective manner was one of the chief hurdles to attempting to stage a college football season. If that wasn’t possible, then how do you even try it? If one player tests positive, do you have to quarantine everyone and wait for additional tests?

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