USC Trojans athletic director Mike Bohn took time out to not only prepare a statement as the Pac-12 CEO Group voted to return to fall sports, he also gave a little insight that he had in the voting process as well as other important factors in the return to sport.
Bohn’s statement, TK LINK, though brief, also contained a bit more after the fact.
He pointed to multiple medical advancements, calling them critical developments in the return to practice, competition.
The most crucial part of these developments, is the fact that they’ve changed since the Pac-12 CEO Group voted six weeks prior to postpone the season in the first place. During that August 11 vote, the Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee stated there were three conditions that needed to improve before they could return to full-contact practices and even competition:
i. increases in testing capacity and frequency across the Pac-12;
ii. reductions in community prevalence of COVID-19 in Pac-12 communities; and,
iii. opportunities to further study potential health impacts of COVID-19, specifically related to cardiac concerns
And, according to Bohn, those conditions have improved through again what he called critical developments:
i. community prevalence and percent of test positivity has improved in most Pac-12 locations and in the United States;
ii. the aforementioned partnership with Quidel Corporation for daily testing for higher-contact sports; and,
iii. the Pac-12 standardized cardiac monitoring across the conference and confirmed each member institution has the resources to conform to those standards
Bohn also gave insight into just how important the deal with Quidel Corporation was. The partnership to provide rapid point-of-care daily testing was an immediate change factor from USC’s AD.
On September 3, the Pac-12 announced an innovative, rapid point-of-care daily testing partnership with the Quidel Corporation. Immediately upon learning of this game-changing development, we reached out to Pac-12 leadership and re-engaged our contacts in the offices of the governor of California and Los Angeles County to revisit elements of their guidance that were restricting us from moving forward with team practices and, in effect, competitions. Undoubtedly, the partnership with Quidel was the key to unlocking our ability to resume competitions, address health and safety concerns, and lift public health restrictions, so we moved with great expediency to advocate for our student-athletes once it was finalized.
New rapid testing and daily results will certainly change the way that the rest of the conference’s athletic directors and presidents saw the treatment of COVID-19, and as such, three weeks to the day of announcing their partnership with Quidel, they voted to return to the fields.
It’s also important to note that USC releases their coronavirus test results on every Friday, for ‘transparency’ reasons, and their most recent string of results included no new positive tests for the second straight week. Bohn praised the student-athletes themselves for doing what they could and committing to the standards and protocols set in place to remain virus free.
Also rather important to note, Bohn also confirmed that there will be no fans in the stands and cited the fact that discussions with many state, county and local health officials deemed that condition as one they wouldn’t get met by game time.
There will certainly be much more as we navigate our new athletics calendar for this year. And we here at Conquest Chronicles will be along with every step in the ride.