Yet led by University of Alabama coach Nick Saban with help from medical experts, the Southeastern Conference remained committed to play and attempted to persuade others. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence kicked off the #WeWantToPlay campaign on Twitter, and the Atlantic Coast Conference kept its schedule.

The turning point came Aug. 11, the day the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced their plans not to play. Mayo Clinic cardiologist Michael Ackerman told Big 12 Conference athletic directors that the myocarditis study, which tracked middle-age subjects in Germany, had little to say about the Covid risk for healthy young players.

“There’s just too many unknowns to say we have new damaging, alarming evidence that COVID-19 myocarditis is the big, bad spooky thing in town now,” Dr. Ackerman said. EKGs and cardiac MRIs can help to identify heart inflammation or other irregularities among athletes who test positive for Covid before they are allowed to return to play. The Big 12 decided to play.