College football defending national champion Louisiana State University (LSU) has introduced a face-shield helmet designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, though some players are publicly complaining about an inability to breathe while wearing it.
“I can’t f---ing breathe under this thing,” LSU linebacker Soni Fonua said on a video posted on social media.
“It’s like breathing in a Ziploc bag,” agreed offensive lineman Austin Deculus.
LSU LB Soni Fonua wearing his COVID face shield helmet: “I can’t fucking breathe under this thing!”— Master (@MasterTes) August 2, 2020
Senior offensive lineman Austin Deculus: “It’s like breathing in a Ziploc bag.” pic.twitter.com/NR3nCNaxXK
LSU’s official equipment account had shared the helmet design on Twitter, saying they came with “splash shields.”
Adapt. Adjust. Splash shields ready to go. pic.twitter.com/v0SW1xXA4m— LSU Football Equip (@LSUFBEquipment) July 31, 2020
LSU and the rest of the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA have announced they will play a conference-only schedule, with the season beginning on Sept. 26, weeks later than usual.
Both college and professional sports leagues have struggled with how to hold games amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the Ivy League announced it was canceling all fall sports for its eight member universities, including football.
The University of Connecticut announced Wednesday that its football program will cancel all athletic competition for the 2020-21 school year.
"After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," Athletic Director David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk."
Athletes will remain enrolled in online and virtual classes as full-time students at UConn.
Major League Baseball returned last month and immediately hit rough patches on the coronavirus front, with two teams, the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, seeing multiple members of the teams testing positive.
The NHL and NBA also returned recently, with no reports of players testing positive as of Wednesday.