Report: Pac-12 decision makers worried about heart-related risks

Pac-12 decision-makers were briefed on the risks associated with playing during the coronavirus pandemic, including heart-related issues found in COVID-19 cases, Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday.

College football writer Pete Thamel said Pac-12 coaches and ADs got a sobering medical perspective from a group of Pac-12 doctors last night. Source called it “eye opening” and the information on myocarditis “made it real.” The doctors also expressed concern about proximity that comes with full-contact practice. “It’s all in the presidents’ hands,” Thamel wrote, citing a source.

Myocarditis is swelling of the heart and surrounding tissue.

Pac-12, pylon, logo
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Dr. Matthew Martinez, who is the lead cardiologist for Major League Soccer, said that cardiac inflammation is being found in athletes that are asymptomatic for COVID-19.

“Initially we thought if you didn’t have significant symptoms that you are probably at less risk. We are now finding that that may not be true,” he told ESPN.

The heart issue connected to COVID-19 was cited by Northern Illinois University last week when the Mid-American Conference determined it would vote to postpone the 2020 football season.

“What we don’t know was really haunting us, and that’s why we came to our final decision,” Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier said. “That’s part of the data that our presidents used. This mom gave us a play-by-play. That stuff is extremely scary.”

Larry Scott
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN reported on Monday that myocarditis was the primary reason Power 5 conferences are debating whether to play football in the fall as scheduled.

Per the report, myocarditis has been found in at least five Big Ten Conference athletes and among several other athletes in other conferences, according to two sources with knowledge of athletes’ medical care.

Debbie Rucker, the mother of Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney, wrote on social media that her son was dealing with potential heart problems after battling COVID-19.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)