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Iowa State Sports Medicine Featured in USA Today Sports

Ames, IA: Iowa State University Sports Medicine was recently featured in USA Today Sports for our work on a pilot project to bring a small number of student-athletes back to campus for post-surgical and long term rehab. Read the interview with Mark Coberley and the entire article in the USA Today: How one NCAA school is taking first step toward bringing athletes back to campus amid coronavirus pandemic.

This pilot project has been done to understand the complexities and demands of working in the new normal world of COVID-19. "But he (Coberley) cautioned that this was a pretty controlled circumstance, saying that there have been relatively few COVID cases in the county where the campus is located and the athletes participating haven’t been anywhere else." We felt it necessary to begin with a small load of patients to help prepare us to make readiness decisions for when more athletes, and especially when full teams, are brought back to campus.

"For opening last week, Coberley said that on the mornings of appointment days, all athletes received an electronic screening questionnaire that included whether the athlete was experiencing any of the recognized COVID symptoms and whether the athlete had traveled anywhere. And it was made clear: No response, no rehab. If any athlete had reported anything unusual, they were to have been put in contact with a team physician."

Using campus resources has been helpful for us to begin to manage the daily status of our student-athletes that are coming in for rehab or examination. The COVID-19 electronic survey through Qualtrics was designed by staff member Joe Hubbard allowing us to have a timely response from our athletes and alerting us to any possible symptoms or status change that would make an individual athlete ineligible from receiving therapy in the sports medicine clinic that day.

This really has been a valuable time as we begin to gather information and determine what are the capabilities of our sports medicine department in this new day and time. “One thing we really learned is that we will have to phase all of the athletes back in,” Coberley said. “Bringing in all 120 football players would overwhelm our capabilities.”


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