Camp Notes: Airon Servais discusses concern over myocarditis, Liberty game

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 19, 2020 at 3:27 pm Contact Adam: adhillma@syr.edu | @_adamhillman “When you play football, there’s huge risks every time you step on the field no matter what,” Syracuse tight end Luke Benson said. “With the virus, it doesn’t stop or get any worse for anybody on the football field and it doesn’t pick and choose or have bias.”Both Benson and Servais expressed their concern for the Oct. 17 matchup against Liberty. No players at the school had been tested for two weeks because none were symptomatic, The News & Advance reported Aug. 15. Up to 40% of people who’ve contracted COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.SU Director of Athletics John Wildhack told ESPN that the report about Liberty was “deeply troubling.” With the matchup a little over two months away, both Servais and Benson mentioned that sitting out against Liberty is a possibility but a decision wouldn’t be made until the week of the game.“If we don’t feel that our opponent has done what they need to do in order to ensure other team’s safety, it could end up that we don’t play that game,” Servais said. “I’m not the head man so I don’t make that decision, but I know we’ve discussed it as a team. If Coach Babers doesn’t feel that his guys aren’t going to be put in a safe situation, then he won’t put us in that situation.”For now, Servais is happy with SU’s response to the players sitting out practice last week and what other ACC schools are doing. Syracuse upped its testing to once per week during the preseason and three times per week during the regular season. SU’s opponents will do the same, Servais said. But playing a football season in a non-bubble environment will pose difficulties, as seen at North Carolina and Notre Dame in the past week. Both schools saw outbreaks as non-athletes returned to campus, and both have now pivoted toward online classes. Syracuse students are in the process of returning to campus, and in-person classes start Aug. 24. Servais is hoping that the cases at UNC and Notre Dame are a warning sign to his peers: if you don’t comply with public health guidelines, the semester, and perhaps Syracuse’s season, won’t last long. “As a university at Syracuse, we can take examples like that and use it as a learning example to show people that there is a certain way to do things and that if you don’t follow those guidelines, you can get sent home,” Servais said.The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission. Comments The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The media won’t have access to Syracuse’s training camp practices this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the football team is organizing regular Zoom interviews with head coach Dino Babers and select players while also providing film from the Ensley Athletic Center. With “Camp Notes,” The Daily Orange’s beat reporters bring the latest news, observations and analysis as the Orange gear up for an unprecedented 2020 season. Follow along here and on Twitter.Airon Servais was curious when he first learned of myocarditis, a potential side effect of the coronavirus that affects the heart. Multiple Big Ten players, as well as Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, had been diagnosed with the rare condition after recovering from COVID-19. The condition is linked to long-term fatigue, shortness of breath and abnormal heart rhythm. As a justification for postponing the season, the Big Ten cited a study that showed that, in a 100-person population with COVID-19 infections and a median age of 49, 78% had either cardiac inflammation or scarring, or both. Athletes, like Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba, haven’t been able to return to playing shape post-diagnosis. Servais asked himself how myocarditis would impact his life, not even considering football. Before opting into the season, he talked to a few cardiologists.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“After having conversations like that, I feel a lot more comfortable moving forward,” Servais said. Some doctors have talked down the impact of myocarditis on individuals between the ages of 18 and 24. Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic and a consultant to the Big 12, told The Athletic that the heart condition shouldn’t be the sole reason to cancel a season.last_img read more