Is the threat of heart damage a reason to close down college or high school football?
“In my opinion, the concern of myocarditis, or possible myocarditis from COVID-19, is not a reason to cancel sports,” Dr. Jason Johnson said.
Johnson is associate chief of pediatric cardiology — and director of the cardiac MRI — at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.
Geoff Calkins of the Daily Memphian has a very educational interview with Dr. Johnson here.
I highly recommend you read the full article, which I found highly informative. Calkins asked Dr. Johnson 14 questions and each of his answers were enlightening and educational.
Relevant to playing football, Calkins asked Dr. Johnson about what the University of Memphis and the AAC are doing. Dr. Johnson's response was (emphasis added below is my own):
One of my colleagues, Dr. Ranjit Philip, is the cardiologist for the University of Memphis. They recently had a call from the AAC and this whole protocol was actually what was discussed.
And the first question they asked all the cardiologists was the question you asked me: “Is the concern of myocarditis a reason to cancel the season?” And all the cardiologists said, “No.”
And then they said: “OK, if we all say no, then how do we proceed?” And this is what the AAC decided is reasonable.
So what the Big 12 does or what the SEC does may be different than what the AAC does. But overall, the theme is that we’re trying to screen these athletes in an appropriate manner to make sure they are not at risk for damage to their heart while they are participating in high-profile athletics.
Again, I highly recommend you read the full article from Calkins here.