Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
As schools beginning welcoming back student athletes, there are a wide variety of procedures being used to test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 or its antibodies. For example, UK is testing athletes only for the presence of antibodies rather than an active infection, instead of testing for both antibodies and active disease. Their justification for this process is here, and I think it makes plenty of sense. Only symptomatic students or those coming from places or situations where risk of exposure is known to be high are being tested for active COVID-19
There is no good way or right way to do this. COVID-19 will often fail to show up on tests of asymptomatic patients, even when they have active disease. This is to be expected, as very often tests for virus like the reverse transcription polymerase test used in the nasal screening for COVID-19 will miss the presence of virus if the viral load is insufficient. It’s just a limitation of these types of tests.
This disease will spread among us until we develop herd immunity (approximately 60% of the population with antibodies) or there is a vaccine. Fortunately, it is rarely deadly in healthy people under the age of 60. As long as we can control the hospitalization rate, a higher infection rate is almost as good as it is bad — whether by infection or vaccination, we must reach heard immunity to stop the pandemic. Nobody will remember this time with much fondness, but risk can never be eliminated, only managed with smart decisions and determined effort.
It’s encouraging to see that no athletes have tested positive for active disease among those that have actually been subjected to that test, and the rest show no signs or symptoms. Six have apparently had the disease and recovered.
Tweet of the Morning
We’ve been conditioned to not expect loyalty from college athletes. The reasons for that are plenty — and pragmatic.— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) June 22, 2020
Still, kudos to Cade Cunningham for making an adult decision and being a man of his word, even in the face of a 2021 postseason ban.https://t.co/AYTYjGex5u
I totally agree.
- Some SEC coaches tell the Banner Society Kentucky has given Mark Stoops the kind of deal other coaches can only aspire to. One SEC assistant allegedly said, “Have you seen Mark’s contract? Mark has the best [redacted] deal in the country.” Consider:
It’s fine to scoff, if you want, that a seven-win season is the Kentucky standard, a mark half the league would consider to be a middling if not outright failure of a year. But it also signals that Kentucky is aware of itself and has reasonable expectations. That state of mind — almost entirely absent in college football — allows for patience, some sanity, and a better quality of life if you’re a football coach.
- Top UK in-state target Jager Burton has delayed his college decision. Drat. Love me some big uglies, and he looks like a winner.
- Remember when some determined Kentucky fans dog-napped Tennessee mascot coonhound Smokey? Yeah, those were the days. Nowadays, the perps would be federally prosecuted and imprisoned for six months for a creative felony.
- 247Sports has UK at #11 on their updated 2020-21 men’s basketball top 25.
- Eddie Sutton documentary to air on ESPN.
- Actor-Singer Jamie Foxx talks with Coach Cal on “Coffee with Cal.”
Other Kentucky sports
- Five Wildcats honored as Golf All-America Scholars. Congrats to all!
- Ex-wildcat hurler Carson Coleman ready for a shot at The Show.
- Positive virus tests raising concerns that it’s too soon for college football.
- The five coaches with the hottest seasts, and most pressure, coming into the 2020 CFB season. I can’t imagine Will Muschamp surviving another mediocre season at South Carolina. He needs to win, and win a lot, and 0-4 against Clemson makes it all the more urgent.
- Top 2020 recruit Cade Cunningham will not leave Oklahoma State despite their post-season ban. I always applaud young men who honor their commitments in the face of adversity. Good for him.
Other sports news
- The KFC-Yum boondoggle gets downgraded after the cancellation of events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting program suggests there may be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone. That’s... a lot.
- Honeywell claims to have built the highest-performing quantum computer in the world today.
- Virology and physics join forces to defeat COVID-19. Faster, please.