A major question with the effort to play the game during the COVID-19 epidemic is how the teams ‘and leagues’ test results will be revealed to the public. Many teams and leagues are relatively open to how many players have tested positive at certain intervals, but in college football in particular, the initial wide numbers have become more and more rare to see in some recent schools. And LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward (seen above right during an introductory press conference in April 2019) is the latest college football figure to speak out in favor of privacy.
Even around sports postponement, some schools, such as BYU, have only mentioned “a small number” of positive tests, and many athletic departments have played football with their other athletes (who are not currently involved in the competition). Players are jointly included in COVID test numbers. And with some athletic departments still going forward, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said last week the school would no longer issue COVID numbers, claiming it would put it at a “competitive disadvantage”. And he is far from there.
Woodward appears to agree with that view. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron (above left with the AFCA Coach Trophy in January) said on Tuesday that “most” of the Tigers’ team had already signed the Cowed-19, Woodward said Wednesday, revealing that information Orgaron was “a little too transparent” in doing. More on Brooks Kubena’s Wednesday Woodward’s comments here The advocate:
LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward said in a joint news briefing with Interim University President Tom Galligan on Wednesday that Organon was “a little transparent” in its update.
“The beauty of this is that Coach O is completely transparent and honest to a fault, and that’s a great thing,” Woodward said. “It’s a lot like what we are seeing in all schools that are doing this.”
… Woodward cited two student privacy protections, HIPAA and FERPA, to explain why the LSU athletic department does not provide specific numbers, as are other college football programs such as Clemson, Notre Dame and Texas. He said the total number of COVID-19 positive case numbers “does not tell the whole story.”
Woodward quoted a phrase by Mark Twain as saying, “There are lies, lies and statistics.” “We are very careful with (coronovirus), and as long as I think we have proper oversight with what we are doing, we are in a very good direction.”
As Kubena notes, countless legal experts have indicated that HIPAA and FERPA do not prevent schools from releasing overall numbers (which a lot of schools have done). If individual athletes are identified, those protections become an issue only, and this is something that encourages schools not to do so, even from a clearly competitive standpoint, before you discuss privacy protection. Get into So the “damn lies” (a quote that is itself a lie, as initially attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, but there is strong evidence that he did not say it) actually apply to the school in an effort. Cites privacy protection. Gaining competitive advantage by not releasing test numbers of your athletes.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that the school does not really benefit much from maintaining this secret. This is why there are also many other situations where access issues have popped up around NCAA football programs (including LSU), but it is notable that this is another one where a real advantage is not much of a benefit. The number of players who have tested positive for COVID-19 does not really seem useful to any opposing school.
For one thing, positive test numbers alone do not provide any information on the actual current health challenges players are facing. Some positive tests come from asymptomatic people, while some come from seriously ill people; A composite number does not differentiate between the two. It does not differentiate between players who are just catching the disease and those who have already recovered from it. And if there are no statuses or other identifiers attached to it, there really isn’t much for opponents to use against you. Therefore there is little to suggest that the Tigers (and other schools pursuing a non-manifest approach) are gaining on-field benefits from doing so.
With this in mind, what is the point of keeping these numbers a secret, and suggesting that Orgeron was “too transparent”? Well, the number that is really useful is to inform the public (through the media) what exactly is the situation in the football program of a particular school. And it can help provide a clever discussion about that school, and that conference, plans to play.
This is also noted as the opposite of normalcy. It is not unusual to see an NCAA football coach saying something wild, and then try to watch the respective athletic directors walk him back. It is a bit strange to see an athletic director, a position that usually comes with a significant background in diplomacy, media relations and public relations, commenting that the football coach attracted even more negative attention than what he said. Does. And that’s enough to say that AD was calling a coach “a little too transparent”.
And it seems at this point that higher numbers may not necessarily mean a lot, despite major outbreaks at many of its schools to play this fall despite the Big Ten’s course reversal. Suggests that the Power Five conference plans to be halted, with the epidemic playing out in a very small way. (The Pac-12 has not followed suit yet, but it may.) While the numbers may not change much, they give at least some indication of what is happening with a particular school, and this True about how true the school’s efforts are to keep its athletes safe. And refusing to release those numbers, and chasing a coach to discuss the number publicly (even just in general terms), says a lot.[The Advocate; Orgeron photo from Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports; Woodward photo from NOLA.com on YouTube]