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NCAA Chief Medical Officer: 'If Testing in the U.S. Stays As It Is, There's No Way We Can Go Forward With Sports'

As college conferences continue to make decisions on whether football will be played in the fall, NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline holds firm that the sport cannot be played safely without proper COVID-19 testing. 

In an appearance on CNN on Saturday night, Hainline stated the risk that would be involved if college sports go forward in the fall. 

"Right now, if testing in the U.S. stays the way it is, there’s no way we can go forward with sports," Hainline said

In the interview, Hainline referenced the heightened risk involved as students begin to return and socialize on college campuses. If schools cannot handle the added factor of socialization, then Hainline says that could be their downfall. 

As for testing and contact tracing, Hainline added, "We're not in a place today where we could safely play sports." 

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Over the past week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 opted to cancel fall sports, including football, with the potential to start the seasons in the spring. Meanwhile, the Big 12, ACC and SEC are moving forward to hold their seasons in the fall with modified schedules. 

On Thursday, NCAA president Mark Emmert said there will be no fall championships in 2020 for all NCAA Division I sports. The NCAA does not govern FBS college football, though, leaving its immediate future uncertain.

An area for concern in college football has been the risk among athletes who contract COVID-19 and are left with a cardiac inflammation condition called myocarditis. According to CBS Sports, as many as 15 Big Ten football players were left with myocarditis after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The ACC is scheduled to begin its season on Thursday, Sept. 10, while the Big 12 and SEC are slated to start later in the month.