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Andy Hodges

Low numbers and illness from tests at Arkansas probably like everywhere else

Razorbacks athletics director Hunter Yurachek had a Zoom press conference and disclosed the low number of positive cases which have come from outside Fayetteville.



If you’re sitting around waiting on anybody in charge of anything to point out the obvious numbers, well, you’re probably going to be waiting around awhile.

Hunter Yurachek might have come as close as anyone will Thursday afternoon.

“There has been zero transfer of that virus within any of our athletic facilities,” he said in a Zoom press conference.

Nationwide, no players have died. While there are no guarantees, you can rest assured if a player anywhere died from the covid-19 virus it would be huge headlines. To a lesser extent, we haven’t seen any stories of any players being really sick.

“The majority — if not all — of the student athletes and staff that contracted the virus had very few — if any — symptoms that kept them down for no more than about 24 hours,” Yurachek said.

Which pretty much are the numbers we see not just nationwide but around the world. People under the age of 25 years old are more likely to get killed in the street by an automobile than die from covid-19. Look up the numbers.

The data coming out now shows people in school don’t transmit the virus to adults (teachers). While many say they are being guided by “the science,” well there is nothing in the numbers to justify not having school or playing athletics.

Even the consensus in “the science” reduces the chances of surface transmission to negligible. In an outdoor setting, the odds of catching it by droplet transmission reduces even more (social distance if you’re close to somebody longer than a couple of minutes).

No, “the science” says the risks to players and coaches is minimal, at best … if they can keep them from going somewhere else.

“The one thing I will tell you about each of the cases that we’ve had,” Yurachek said. “We’ve been able to trace them to a student-athlete or staff member traveling out of Northwest Arkansas and bringing that virus back.”

Yes, the virus is real and can be serious for the elderly or those that have some sort of underlying medical condition. Yes, there will be exceptions that prove the rule.

But in Arkansas if you test positive for covid-19, you have a 98.9% chance of living regardless of age or medical history. That’s higher, by the way, than some medical procedures considered routine.

Exactly why no one bothers to look at anything beyond positive test results is interesting.

The Hogs’ guidelines are working. Those will also become tighter as the NCAA issued guidelines Thursday for sports.

“As we look to our fall sports, football, volleyball, soccer, cross country, beginning practice the first week of August, our testing protocols will be enhanced at that point in time with rapid response testing on a weekly basis with participating student-athletes in those fall sports,” Yuracheck said. “You may have seen and hour or so ago that the NCAA released kind of a third version of their guidelines and recommendations. They included testing at least 72 hours prior to competition and we’re prepared as an institution and as a conference to fall in line with those plans.”

Yurachek said he feels they reacted to quickly back in March and could have gotten some of the spring sports schedule in. You had the feeling when they shut everything down that was a feeling he had.

Now he’s ready to get things moving forward.

“At some point in time, I feel like we have to move on with our new norm,” Yurachek said.

Which is what college athletics is going to have to do.

Mainly because “the science” doesn’t say anything different.


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