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Alabama remains ready to play football in the fall, athletic director Greg Byrne said Thursday.

The SEC has not changed its plans regarding its fall sports schedule. The Big Ten and Pac-12 became the first Power 5 conferences to postpone their fall schedule earlier this week.

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Byrne told reporters during a video conference call that their plan will remain the same and will be flexible with any roadblocks, according to 24/7 Sports.

“Our goal is to play this fall right now,” Byrne said. “We’ve adjusted since March, and we’ll continue to evolve and adjust as is necessary.”

Part of the reason why the two conferences put their season on hold was because of the risk factor involving the coronavirus and the players. According to ESPN, the illness could be linked to the heart condition myocarditis which was found in at least five Big Ten athletes.

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“We had some positive tests when our student-athletes first came back,” Byrne said. “We’ve had a dramatic decrease since they’ve gotten under our umbrella, and that’s good. I am not a medical expert, but I know myocarditis has been in the news recently.

“That’s something, in our discussions with our medical team, when we have a student-athlete come into our program, we do baseline cardiovascular testing, and that gives us a baseline for any cardiovascular issues with our student-athletes coming in. And when we do that from time to time, you identify an issue that a student-athlete didn’t even know that they had before they came here,” Byrne said.

“I can tell you right now, we have not had a case of myocarditis. Can I tell you, unequivocally, that it won’t happen? No, that would be disingenuous. But as of right now, that’s where we are with it. It’s something that we’re monitoring closely. I don’t know what every institution does from a baseline standpoint for their student-athletes. … But we’re doing what we can at the University of Alabama to make sure we’re trying to support the health and well-being of our student-athletes through this environment that we’re in right now.”

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For right now, the SEC football schedule is on.


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