College Football Turmoil Continues With Dire Medical Warning, Some Players Sitting Out

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A chaotic week for college football continued on Thursday, when the sport's top medical advisers sounded the alarm about the coronavirus -- and players from at least two prominent universities signaled dissatisfaction over the handling of testing.

Divisions within the game were laid bare in an unprecedented public split this week, when the MAC, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences all postponed fall sports -- in some cases against the wishes of some of their coaches and student-athletes -- while others such as the SEC, ACC and Big 12 said they were hoping to play.

On a Thursday conference call, several experts on the NCAA's coronavirus advisory committee expressed deep concern about the prospect of playing fall sports, according to Politico.

"I feel like the Titanic," said Dr. Carlos Del Rio. "We have hit the iceberg, and we're trying to make decisions of what time should we have the band play.

"We need to focus on what's important. What's important right now is that we need to control this virus. And not having fall sports this year and controlling this virus, to me, would be the No. 1 priority.”

The NCAA's chief medical officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, said there was little margin for error for schools forging ahead with fall sports.

“We're moving into very troubled waters right now,” Hainline said. “It's a very narrow path to get fall sports right.”

Separately, NCAA President Mark Emmert on Thursday announced the official postponement of fall championships, citing the lack of participating universities. The move doesn't affect the college football playoff, which operates outside the purview of the NCAA.

Meanwhile, things were hardly going smoothly for some of the football programs where summer camp is underway.

Syracuse football players declined to practice for the third time in eight days on Thursday, over demands that more frequent testing be implemented. Syracuse coach Dino Babers had previously said players were being tested once every other week, according to Syracuse.com.

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, a Florida State player accused the school of misleading him about its handling of the coronavirus, CNN reported.

"Being a Student Athlete is difficult during this time and the proper leadership regarding these problems does not exist," wide receiver Warren Thompson said in a social media post. "During this entire week of camp I have been lied to multiple times about the conditions of other players health as well as mine."

LSU head coach Ed Orgergon this week said the reigning champion Tigers were planning to play their season-opener on Sept. 26. President Trump said he spoke with Orgeron as well as superstar Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and suggested he encouraged them to "go play football."