Division 1 college football players take on incredible risk in every game they play. They could break a leg, blow out an ACL, or suffer a concussion, a dislocated shoulder or, God forbid, a broken neck on almost any play. While universities seem fine with their students facing those real dangers, they will go to any distance to make sure no player succumbs to coronavirus.
Case in point: the game Saturday between Virginia Tech and the University of Pittsburgh, which will feature both teams wearing masks on the field. They are doing this to go along with the state of Pennsylvania’s new coronavirus safety guidelines. Here’s how Secretary of Health Rachel Levine laid out their edict earlier in the week: “Coaches, athletes, and spectators must wear face coverings while actively engaged in workouts and competition as well as when on the sidelines, in the dugout, etc., unless they meet an exception in the Face Covering Order. Section 3 of the Order provides an exception that allows an individual to remove their mask if wearing a face covering would either cause a medical condition or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing, a mental health condition or a disability.”
So, the Hokies and Panthers are all-in on wearing masks for the entire game, as odd as it may appear visually and despite whatever risks are associated with breathing in the fibers of a cloth mask for three hours.
Interestingly, Penn State hosts Iowa on Saturday, and they won’t wear the masks, insisting they are exempted from the order. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles both play road games this weekend.