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Oh look, new COVID guidelines from the NCAA that don’t make sense


Oh look, new COVID guidelines from the NCAA that don’t make sense

Oh look, new COVID guidelines from the NCAA that don’t make sense

Yesterday, the NCAA updated their COVID-19 guidelines for winter sports, and while they’ve thrown us a few crumbs to be thankful for, they still lack logic and consistency.

Now look, if you were expecting the NCAA to come out and be some guiding light on these protocols, then you haven’t been paying attention. They’ve been about a month or two behind all other major sports for the past 2 years. Basically, they wait for the NFL or the NBA to make a rule, deal with the social media fallout, and then copy it.

It’s no different this time around.

The NCAA’s COVID-19 medical advisory group, citing omicron concerns, developed its own new definition for “fully vaccinated” to include vaccinations and boosters. Whether you like that or not, you have to wonder where it’s coming from.

The CDC (who we all trust. Wait, no we don’t, or yeah, now do? But that’s right, no we don’t.) made it clear that “Individuals are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they’ve received their primary series. That definition is not changing.” That’s according to the director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

But don’t trust THAT science, trust the science from the NCAA that says “fully vaccinated” includes boosters (if you are beyond the efficacy period of your initial doses.)

Why does that even matter? Well, it matters because if you’re not “fully vaccinated” you need to isolate if you have a close contact (for 5 days). But, if you’re all boosted up, and you have a close contact, then no worries, you don’t have to isolate at all. Completely ignoring the fact that vaccinated people are spreading the virus too.

One new nugget that we are glad to see is that players and staff get to play by the “fully vaccinated” rules if they’ve had a documented COVID-19 case within the past 90 days. So, they’re finally acknowledging natural immunity. Good for them.

The other positive, if you want to call it that, is the isolation period is down to 5 days after a positive test if there are no symptoms OR if symptoms are resolving. The CDC notes that “symptoms resolving” simply means without a fever for 24 hours. No negative test needed to leave isolation.

Ok, that’s a lot of ‘if/then’ going on.  Maybe you need to slow down, clear your mind, and read this all again. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Now let’s level-set. What the hell is going on?

What’s going on is that the NCAA is trying to do its best to get things back to normal by limiting postponements. They are trying to do that without getting some social media blowback from the COVID-ZERO crowd who refuses to believe that this virus isn’t going away. The safest way to do that is to wait for another league to set protocols and then copy them. When they get heat, they can just say “Hey, the NFL is doing it.”

I get it, but what I just can’t get over is the inconsistency of it all.

They just spent two years explaining their protocols as “following the guidance of the CDC” and then they up and create a new definition of “fully vaccinated” flying in the face of the CDC’s guidance. And once you’re “fully vaccinated” (according to the NCAA) suddenly you don’t have to test unless you have symptoms. Read that again, slowly.

Now think about that for a second. Allowing the “fully vaccinated” to skip testing (unless they have symptoms) means that they aren’t worried about those guys being presymptomatic or asymptomatic. That would make sense if the vaccine stopped transmission, but we all know that’s not the case. So it’s ok for these guys to spread the virus without punishment? Meanwhile, those who didn’t take the vaccine, or did take it but opted out of the booster, have to test, even if asymptomatic, and have to isolate if they were a close contact? How does this make sense? Who is it protecting?

Wolfpack Nation, like everywhere else, is probably divided on this issue, but can we just come together on this one and admit that the lack of consistency with the NCAA (and all of these leagues) is infuriating and illogical at this point and just pissing everyone off.

Lemme throw out a solution in case the NCAA is listening (they’re not). Quit testing unless someone has symptoms. If they have symptoms, test them. If they’re positive, listen to the CDC and go isolate for 5 days. If you have close contacts, who cares, “fully vaccinated” or not, unless there are symptoms you play on. You deal with the off chance someone is presymptomatic. If you don’t feel safe with those rules, then sit out and take another free year. There. That’s it. You’re back to normal.

Now, quit with this damn charade, and let’s get back to playing ball.

A pasta eatin', Wolfpack lovin' loudmouth from Raleigh by way of New Jersey. Jimmy V and Chuck Amato fanboy. All opinions are my own and you're gonna hear'em.

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13 days ago

As someone who graduated of NC State with a science degree and has spent my entire life reading scientific articles (as well as sports and mysteries and murder and mayhem) I want to say that the general public, large companies, administrators and even our medical community are all confused about COVID. People who want a definitive answer are going to be disappointed. All the different professionals in the COVID world, whether they are care givers, virologists, biochemists, or epidemiologists, are learning as they go. Protocols change with both knowledge and mutations. Science and scientific process involves proposing and testing theories,… Read more »

13 days ago

As a member of a vaccinated and vaccinated + Boosted family, I can confirm the Omicron does not give a damn what the NCAA, CDC, who your governor is or anyone else thinks. In fact, patient zero for our family was one of those that was boosted. I can also say that it was quite mild for all of us, pretty much ran its course in a day and a half. I’d take that over most colds I’ve gotten in the past. If they are vaxxed, I say let them play if they feel OK. If they don’t want to… Read more »

Last edited 13 days ago by Dof87
13 days ago
Reply to  Dof87

Glad you family is ok.
When I was accepted at NCSU, there was a list of vaccination REQUIRED to attend. Nobody bitched about it then. We got the shots or stayed home. There are plenty of vaccinations required for international travel. Get the shots or stay home. Same could apply to sports or specific professions.

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