NCAA establishes coronavirus panel, makes no changes to NCAA tournament
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA championships will continue as planned, according to a statement released by the Association today:
The NCAA has established a COVID-19 advisory panel of leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts from their respective fields of study and NCAA member schools to guide its response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline will lead the group, which will include:
- Amesh Adalja, M.D. – Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security
- Stephanie Chu, M.D. – Team physician, University of Colorado, Boulder; Member, NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports
- Carlos del Rio, M.D. – Chair, Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health
- Colleen Kraft, M.D. – Associate chief medical officer, Emory University Hospital
- Vivek Murthy, M.D. – 19th Surgeon General of the United States; Member, NCAA Board of Governors
- Mike Rodriguez – Senior director, U.S. Tennis Association and U.S. Open Security
- William Schaffner, M.D. – Professor, Preventive Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
College athlete liaisons will provide their perspective to the advisory panel. The liaisons include:
- Nicholas Clark – Former Coastal Carolina college athlete and Board of Governors Student-Athlete Engagement Committee chair
- Caroline Lee – Southeastern Louisiana college athlete; NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division I SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
- Mary Northcutt – Carson-Newman college athlete; NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division II SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
- Isaiah Swann – University of Texas at Dallas college athlete; NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and Division III SAAC representative to the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport
“The NCAA is committed to conducting its championships and events in a safe and responsible manner,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief operating officer. “Today we are planning to conduct our championships as planned, however, we are evaluating the COVID-19 situation daily and will make decisions accordingly.
“We are actively monitoring COVID-19 in the United States and will make recommendations on competition based on the evolving medical protocols established by the CDC, NIH and state and local authorities,” said Hainline. “We are in daily contact with the CDC and are advising leadership on the Association’s response to this outbreak.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low for the general public right now. However, the potential for a future public health threat is very high within the U.S. and globally, the CDC says.
“Given the fluid situation, the advisory panel will meet regularly and provide valuable insight and expertise as the Association navigates this complicated public health challenge,” Hainline said.
“The NCAA will make decisions that are first and foremost reflective of medical best practices and keeps the health and safety of student-athletes, administrators and fans as the number one priority,” Remy said.