Back in June, some 30 football players from Louisiana State University (LSU) had to be isolated due to exposure to the coronavirus. Now comes word that most of the team has contracted covid-19.
“Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters. “I think that hopefully, they won’t catch it again, and hopefully they’re not out for games,” ESPN reported.
Orgeron said he didn’t know the exact percentage of players who have had the coronavirus.
“Hopefully once you catch it, you don’t get it again,” he said. “I’m not a doctor. I think they have that 90-day window, so most of the players that have caught it, we do feel like they’ll be eligible for games.”
Nearly a quarter of LSU’s football team was in quarantine in June because of virus-related concerns, WWL Radio reported.
Players who have contracted covid-19 don’t have to be tested again for 90 days, according to Southeastern Conference (SEC) protocols.
Many programs in the Southeastern Conference and nationally have not provided regular reports on the number of players who have contracted the novel coronavirus.
Football means big bucks for LSU. The Tigers football team made a profit of about $56.6 million in the 2018-2019 academic year, The Advocate reported. Most of the revenue comes from ticket sales ($36.3 million) and contributions ($23.8 million).
Losing a season would be a great financial loss to the school, which has been looking into ways to prevent the players from getting sick.
Researchers at the university recently announced the development of a fan that can be fitted into most off-the-shelf protective helmets, including those used for football, WBRZ reported. The university says the fan-powered device would help circulate air for players wearing face shields, which can make it hard for them to see and breathe.
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This newly developed technology uses existing air vents near the back of the helmet, sucking air in with small battery-driven fans attached to a set of flexible tubing, the university announced. “The tubes can be customized and mounted to the inside of the helmet to direct air wherever it’s needed, usually forward and downward over the face, toward a visor or plastic face shield. For increased safety, N95 filter materials can be added at the intake.”
According to LSU researchers, the airflow created by the device will also make it more difficult for foreign particles to make their way behind the face shield.
LSU has licensed the new tech to sports technology startup Tigeraire.
LSU opens the season at home against Mississippi State on Sept. 26.
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