houksyndrome's picture



MEMBER SINCE   September 27, 2016

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Comment 15 Oct 2020

It doesn't sound like the report reached a conclusion about the drug testing, one way or the other.  Here is what the report actually says about drug testing (page 15):

Numerous individuals also raised more frequent drug testing of Black players as a concern. Athletic Director Barta told investigators he became aware of these complaints in June 2020 and he and his staff have started a review of the Department’s testing protocols and will work with the outside vendor, Aegis, to improve the process. The Program Manager in charge of student-athlete drug testing told investigators that testing staff does not know the race of individuals selected for testing. Student-athletes are tested randomly and if they have previously tested positive or produced a diluted sample they may be selected for further testing. The Program Manager reviews the lists of players selected for testing and removes individuals who have been tested more frequently. She explained that the Head Coach may also request that specific players be tested, but the coach must have a legitimate reason for making such a request and the request must be reviewed and approved by the supervising physician before the player will be tested. Head Coach Ferentz acknowledged that changes need to be made to the program’s drug testing policy, but he denies that Black student athletes are tested at a higher rate. He reviewed the testing data from the 2019-20 academic year and determined that three players were tested three times. Of those three players, two were White and one was Black. He identified additional ways that the testing program could be improved to provide more privacy to players. Currently, the Program Manager administers the testing program within the football building, and Head Coach Ferentz intends to remove testing from inside the football building moving forward.

What are needed to make a conclusion are the actual data (number of times tested and/or probability of being chosen for tests) for every player on the team.  Then, and only then, can we make a conclusion about whether or not the testing process was truly random.  BTW, I bolded a few lines that drew my attention.  If Ferentz can select certain players for testing then that could easily skew the testing rates, even if the testing agency's selection process is random.

Comment 31 Jul 2020

I completely agree on the aggressive perimeter hedging/switching by our bigs.  Garza made a lot of improvements last season in terms of rim protection and I think he'd be even better if they schemed to keep him closer to the rim.  We will have a couple of taller options to use at forward as well this season (Pat McCaffery and the Murray twins) so that might also improve the rim protection.

Comment 02 Jul 2020

I do think the on-field product has improved since Brian showed up and I have generally liked the overall direction of the program during the last few seasons - the talent level has seemed to be on the rise - compared with 2011-2014.

That said, if Brian is abusive then he needs to change or be gone - or just be gone and he can change somewhere else.

Comment 01 Jul 2020

That bit about permanent lung damage was more of a guesstimate than anything else.  It was irresponsible of me to present that in the manner that I did.  I apologize.  I have also been looking for an official stat on that, without success.

The guesstimate was based on intuition, if a person is being intubated that means their lungs have become severely damaged.  I was also assuming that the lung has poor regenerative capacity, which actually may not be the case:


The bottom line is that long-term lung damage is probably only going to be occurring in patients with the most severe symptoms and a significant fraction of those patients die, so the number of long-term lung damage patients is going to be within, say, an order of magnitude of the deaths.

Comment 01 Jul 2020

I have some thoughts about the calculations in the Dodd article.

First, it is quite reasonable to project that 30-50% of college football players will become infected with COVID if they play the season.  The players spend so much time in close proximity + the fact that it can be spread by asymptomatic people => it will spread rampantly within teams.  

So I think there will be thousands of players infected.  The question is how many of them die.  To calculate that, we need to know the probability of an infected person dying (IFR), for 18-22 year old males.  I don't know that number, but it sounds to me like the Dodd article uses a 0.1% IFR.  I think 0.1% IFR might be a significant overestimate for 18-22 year olds.  In China, the 10-19 year old age group had an IFR of 0.007%.  In France, and on the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, the IFR in the 20-29 year old age group was also 0.007%.  In China, the 20-29 year old age group had an IFR of 0.03%.  So a 0.1% IFR seems too high to me.  0.1% is more in line with the CFR (percentage of identified cases who die), which for 20-44 year olds, is about 0.1-0.2% in the USA.  CFR is always higher than IFR because not all cases are identified (asymptomatic and weak cases). (All numbers from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortality_due_to_COVID-19)

I ran some rough calculations on this a few days back and estimated 0.4 player deaths and a 33% probability of at least one player dying (with IFR = 0.007%) and 1.73 player deaths and an 82% probability of at least one player dying (with IFR = 0.03%).  So there is a very significant chance that at least one player will die from this, even if the IFR is much better than that assumed in the Dodd article

Furthermore, it should be noted that coaches and support staff will also get this and, since they are older, some of them will die.

Lastly, permanent lung damage occurs in patients who require intubation.  Based on the fact that about half of intubated patients die, I'd estimate the number of players who receive permanent lung damage to be approximately equal (or maybe a few fold higher) than the number of players who die.

Comment 01 Jul 2020

I did a little digging yesterday and found a review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3809029/ that cobbled together lethality data from the 2009 H1N1pdm09 influenza, and breaks it down by age group.  That flu also showed increased lethality (CFR, deaths / confirmed cases) in elderly populations with at least a 10X CFR increase in patients 65+ relative to patients under 20.  So at least for that bad 2009 flu, there was also dramatically increased risk in elderly patients.  Not sure if it holds for other influenza strains but I'd be surprised if it didn't.  

Comment 07 Jun 2020

This whole thing is extremely disturbing; however, the selective testing of black football players is particularly appalling.  Whoever is responsible for that needs to be fired.  There can't possibly be any justification for such a policy.  Just awful.

It pains me to read these things.

Comment 24 May 2020

Samson Evans should have tried growing his hair out.  I bet that would have done the trick and he would have become powerful enough to raze Camp Randall Stadium, or at least trash the visitors locker room.

Comment 06 May 2020

Garza and Haluska.  One could make arguments in favor of Uthoff but, at the end of the day, Garza is just way more confident, way more determined and will simply refuse to allow himself to be stopped.  Uthoff will settle for some fadeaway long twos, miss some of them and that will be that.

White vs. Haluska was a tough call but I went with Haluska simply because he has a better overall offensive skill set and has an easier time scoring on plays when he's being defended.  White was great at exploiting defensive lapses and finding easy buckets that way.  True, White absolutely RUINED undersized defenders (Marc Loving of Ohio State comes to mind).  But I think Haluska will have the easier time scoring.

Comment 28 Apr 2020

I agree with what you say about shooters who can't create off the dribble.  But in a one on one game, if there is a dramatic size mismatch, the larger player can simply back down the smaller player and, since there are not going to be any double teams, the smaller player would be helpless to stop it.

Comment 16 Apr 2020

Dude!  I was Ames High '01.  Did you play for Newton?  If so we probably went up against each other.  I was the really tall, lousy dude on Ames' roster.  I had a friend at UI from Newton by the name of Friedman.  You guys were more of a football school but you got loud for basketball too, iirc.

Horner's deep range was crazy in high school.  As soon as he got across the half court line, there was a chance it was going up.