Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Update> Dr. Sebastianelli says, “my bad”. He had incorrect information. Exactly as we wrote below:

This is like dunking on your own doctor; but James Franklin just went in with this:


Original article:

A meeting of State College area board of school directors reignited the national debate about college football amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the meeting, which took place Monday night but did not go national until published in the Centre Daily Times on Thursday, Penn State director Wayne Sebastianelli told the school boards that “30 to 35 percent” of Big Ten athletes that were tested for myocarditis were found to have had it.

“What we do know is COVID positive athletes, whether they were symptomatic or not, roughly 30, 35 percent of their heart muscle is inflamed,” he said. “The population of those tested, roughly 30 to 35 percent are showing this inflammation. We just really don’t know what to do with it right now.”

This number is significantly higher than what was previously known, as the last report from the conference was stated to be between 10 and 15 athletes, total. (Note: The Big Ten has still released zero hard-and-fast figures on the number of myocarditis cases found within the conference.)

Sebastianelli noted himself that he hasn’t discussed any of this data with Penn State President Eric Barron on this topic.

The “30-35%” number was so alarming FootballScoop immediately reached out to football staff members throughout the Big Ten. The responses we received  did not reveal anything approaching the “30 to 35 percent” figure purported to be found within the league.

Eight staffers were polled. Among the seven that responded, the consensus was along the lines of “We’re not experiencing that here and haven’t heard of anyone in the conference experiencing this. Last we heard was nearly 10 total athletes across all sports.” One of the largest programs in the Big Ten told FootballScoop they have not identified a single player with any sort of heart inflammation or myocarditis issue.

This jives with other reported figures within the industry.

Furthermore, ESPN polled all 65 Power 5 conferences for their testing data. Of the 26 respond, only one reported having an athlete with heart-related issues in conjunction with a COVID-19 diagnosis, but the condition was not myocarditis.

A Memphis cardiologist shared a story with the Daily Memphian where a University of Memphis cardiologist polled his colleagues in the American Athletic Conference asking if myocarditis was a concern significant enough to warrant shutting down fall sports. The response was a unanimous “No.”

COVID-19 is a new virus where new information comes to light daily. But right now, doctors in the Big Ten have either obtained information in regards to the prevalence of myocarditis that is not shared anywhere else in cardiology or college athletics, or perhaps someone or something is being misinterpreted. Either way, the Big Ten should speak on this matter publicly.


Update> Mayo Clinic Genetic Cardiologist Michael Ackerman has weighed in:

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Our President since 2008, Scott oversees daily operations. An outstanding high school athlete (he wrote that), he chose to go pro in something other than playing football (i.e. he couldn't break a 5.0 40 yard dash). Prior to purchasing FootballScoop, Scott served as a vice president of The Shaw Group, a Fortune 500 company, for eight years.