NCAA Dr. Carlos del Rio Says ‘We May Never Return To Normal’ This Year


Some of the doctors on the NCAA’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel offered sobering perspective about how college sports can return from the coronavirus pandemic.

On an “Inside the NCAA” video series, NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline and Dr. Carlos del Rio discussed the reality of the situation.

“I hate to say it, but for this calendar year, we may never return to normal without a vaccine or some strategies in place,” Dr. Del Rio said, per CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd regarding college sports.

Part of his reasoning is that the virus has been unpredictable, quickly changing and impacting everyone it infects differently. Doctors too are learning more every day.

Without a vaccine, it’s unclear what the fall of 2020 and ensuing winter will look like on college campuses.

“This pandemic is changing so rapidly, it’s giving us so many things to react to,” Del Rio said. “What you need to be is flexible, you need to be nimble. You need to be willing to do things you did not plan to do from the start.”

Del Rio said there needs to be an increase in testing at all levels, but thinks in the next month or two that will start to happen. He added that we won’t go back to normal overnight, and that what we end up returning to may not be “the normal we used to know.”

There was some optimism, however.

“It’s not the end of the world,” del Rio said. “Something will happen.”

You can watch the full interview below:

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Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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