Conferences have been replacing about two college football officials per week amid COVID-19 issues

Conferences have been down an average of two college football officials per week this season due to COVID-19 reasons. Steve Shaw, the NCAA’s national coordinator of officials, told CBS Sports that conferences have managed to provide full crews to this point.

“We haven’t counted it [totally], but it’s been steady, 1-2 a week”, said Shaw in first season as the national coordinator. “It’s impacted every conference.”

That has caused Shaw to ensure there are replacement officials available nearby and on short notice. The process can get more complicated with replacement officials having to test negative for COVID-19 in time for a game. Officials are being tested once a week, sometimes self-administering these tests before mailing them to a testing lab.

Shaw will know Thursday night or Friday morning if he has to replace an official. So far, no crews have taken the field shorthanded because of COVID-19.

“It has not stressed the system in terms of we don’t have anybody,” Shaw said. “Where it’s stressed the system is on Friday you have to get people who didn’t think they were working.

You’ve got to [have a replacement] drive to Ann Arbor. You’ve got to drive to Fayetteville. It’s not put us in the situation where we just don’t have the people.”

Shaw said coaches have even approached officials with ways to shorten games for safety’s sake amid COVID-19 concerns.

“The coaches are trying to get us to the finish line,” he said. “This is two teams that are playing each other. Between opt outs and contact tracing and natural injuries, they were both very thin. [They’d say,] ‘We’d like less plays in this game. We want to play it. What can we do?’

“Whoever would have thought you would ask something like that?”

Shaw referred to what he called “a gentlemen’s agreement” between coaches on how to shorten games. He was not specific in what such an agreement would entail.

In the past, coaches have agreed to allow the clock to run during a blowout, but that is not believed to be the case here.  

“It’s been an unusual year,” said Shaw, who oversees 1,500 Division I officials.

Next up is assigning officials for bowl games. Shaw will have to preassign some crews with bowls beginning before the Selection Sunday on Dec. 20 this year.

Officials assigned to bowls are usually all-star crews from conferences. They are assigned postseason games on merit. 


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Big Ten power rankings: Conference’s College Football Playoff hopes are now slim

COVID-19 might be the only thing that can slow down Ohio State. For Northwestern, it was one-win Michigan State.

And just like that, the Big Ten’s playoff hopes may be close to vanishing.

It’s unclear when the Buckeyes will return to the field, and even though the eye test may say yes, their resume will be a few games short than others, at least. An unbeaten Wildcats’ team probably carries the conference’s flag into the CFP, but not after losing as a double-digit favorite to the Spartans.

On to this week’s rankings:

14. NEBRASKA (1-4)

The Cornhuskers hung in there against Iowa, even tied at halftime, but ultimately lost, 26-20. After the game, the storyline was Scott Frost complaining about Iowa’s sideline clapping to throw off his quarterbacks’ snap counts. Maybe what kept Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey out of rhythm was the constant rotation. Just a thought. After struggling during his time early, Martinez was 18 of 20 passing of 174 yards and also ran for a TD. (Last week: 13)

Up next: Nebraska at Purdue, 12 p.m. Saturday

College football: Michigan vs. Penn State – November 28, 2020

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field with defensive lineman Donovan Jeter (95) after Jeter was hurt on a play in the third quarter of their Big Ten football game against Penn State at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, November 28, 2020. Penn State won the game, 27-17. Michigan is now 2-4 on the season. (Mike Mulholland | Mulholland |

13. MICHIGAN (2-4)

So much for momentum. So much for the Cade McNamara takeover at QB. The spark from the overtime Rutgers win already has burned out, as well as any life left in the season. McNamara was just 12 of 25 for 91 yards, and the tone of the game was set when Penn State marched right down the field for an opening touchdown. On the positive side, Hassan Haskins had 101 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. By the team’s body language, the other positive is that there is only a few weeks left in this season. (Last week: 12)

Up next: Michigan vs. Maryland, 3:30 p.m. Saturday

College football: Michigan vs. Penn State – November 28, 2020

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds (27) tackles Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson (5) in the fourth quarter of their Big Ten football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, on Saturday, November 28, 2020. Penn State won the game, 27-17. Michigan is now 2-4 on the season. (Mike Mulholland | Mulholland |

12. PENN STATE (1-5)

Sean Clifford didn’t throw a TD pass and only had 163 yards through the air, but the Nittany Lions QB was feeling good after the game. That tends to happen after facing the Michigan defense. Penn State got in the win column on the backs of its offensive line, and a running game that was sparked by freshman Kevyvone Lee (134 yards, 22 carries) and the running quarterbacks. Penn State’s RB room has been decimated by injury, and Lee was the team’s first

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Thirteen conferences align on testing program for college hoops officials

Thirteen conferences align on testing program for college hoops officials | FOX Sports






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Ascendis Pharma A/S Announces Presentations for its Endocrinology Rare Disease Clinical Programs at Upcoming Medical Conferences

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Oct. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its innovative TransCon™ technologies to address unmet medical needs, today announced five presentations featuring the company’s endocrinology rare disease programs at two upcoming medical conferences: European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) 2020, taking place online October 22–24, 2020, and the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society (PENS) national conference, taking place online November 2–5, 2020.

During ECTS, results from the phase 2 PaTH Forward Trial of TransCon PTH in adult hypoparathyroidism (HP) will be presented. During PENS, data from the phase 3 fliGHt Trial of TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin) in pediatric growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and from two clinical trials of the auto-injector for lonapegsomatropin. Additionally, the company will present posters highlighting the impact of achondroplasia (ACH) on the quality of life in children and their parents, which will help inform the TransCon CNP program.

“Ascendis Pharma is committed to supporting the endocrinology community, and we are excited to present data across all three of our endocrinology rare disease programs,” said Aimee Shu, M.D., Senior Medical Director, Clinical Development at Ascendis Pharma. “The data being presented at this year’s ECTS and PENS meetings highlight our portfolio of investigational product candidates and demonstrate important clinical and quality of life outcomes for patients and caregivers, including our first presentation of clinical data on our proprietary auto-injector for lonapegsomatropin.”

Presentation Details


Poster Presentation





Design and Topline Results of TransCon PTH, a Long-acting Parathyroid Hormone (PTH), Phase 2 Trial in Patients with Hypoparathyroidism


Presented on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:55–5:00 p.m. (CST) with live Q&A to follow.


PENS 2020

Poster Presentations





Introduction of a Novel GH Auto-Injector for Once-weekly Administration of TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin)


Posters are available during PENS with live Q&A on Thursday, November 5, 2020 from 2:15–2:45 p.m. (ET).


Treatment Experience of Children with Growth Hormone Deficiency in the Phase 3 fliGHt Trial: Switching from Daily Growth Hormone to Once-weekly TransCon hGH (lonapegsomatropin)



Pediatric Achondroplasia: Impacts on Children’s Functioning and Well-being



Experiences of Parents of Children with Achondroplasia: Impacts on Quality of Life



The posters will be available on the Ascendis website under Selected Publications in the Pipeline section:   If you are a healthcare provider who would like more information, please contact: [email protected]

About TransCon™ Technology Platform

TransCon refers to “transient conjugation.” The proprietary TransCon platform is an innovative technology to create new therapies that are designed to potentially optimize therapeutic effect, including efficacy, safety and dosing frequency. TransCon molecules have three components: an unmodified parent drug, an inert carrier that protects it, and a linker that temporarily binds the two. When bound, the carrier inactivates and shields the parent drug from clearance. When injected into the body, physiologic conditions (e.g., pH and temperature) initiate the release of the active, unmodified parent drug in a predictable manner. Because the parent drug is unmodified, its original mode of action is expected to be maintained. TransCon technologies can be

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OptimizeRx to Participate at Investor Conferences in November

ROCHESTER, Mich., Oct. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OptimizeRx Corp. (Nasdaq: OPRX), a leading provider of digital health solutions for life science companies, physicians and patients, has been invited to participate in two investor conferences being held in November.

Event: ROTH Technology Virtual Conference
Attendance Date: November 11, 2020
Format: Virtual 1×1 and small group meetings
Registration: Email [email protected] or click here.

Event: Stifel Midwest One-on-One Growth Conference
Attendance Date: November 12, 2020
Format: Virtual 1×1 meetings
Registration: Please contact your Stifel institutional sales representative.

OptimizeRx management is scheduled to participate in virtual one-on-one meetings with institutional investors and analysts at both conferences.

Management will discuss the company’s recently reported preliminary results for the third quarter of 2020. The company expects record revenue of more than $10.0 million, up over 100% versus the same year-ago quarter, along with positive non-GAAP net income.

They will review how this growth is being driven organically by a combination of enterprise deals and tactical programs, as its life science customers increasingly see the value in transparent access to physicians and patients via the OptimizeRx digital health platform.

To schedule a virtual one-on-one meeting with OptimizeRx, you may submit your request via the links provided upon your registration for the conferences. For any questions about the company, please contact Ron Both of CMA at (949) 432-7557 or submit your request here.

About Roth Capital Partners        
ROTH Capital Partners, LLC (ROTH), is a relationship-driven investment bank focused on serving emerging growth companies and their investors. As a full-service investment bank, ROTH provides capital raising, M&A advisory, analytical research, trading, market-making services and corporate access. Headquartered in Newport Beach, CA, ROTH is privately-held and employee owned, and maintains offices throughout the U.S. For more information on ROTH, please visit

About Stifel
Stifel is a full-service investment firm with a distinguished history of providing securities brokerage, investment banking, trading, investment advisory, and related financial services to individual investors, institutions, corporations, and municipalities. Established in 1890 and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Stifel is one of the nation’s leading firms.

For more information about Stifel, visit

About OptimizeRx
OptimizeRx is a digital health company that provides communications solutions for life science companies, physicians and patients. Connecting over half of healthcare providers in the U.S. and millions of patients through a proprietary network, the OptimizeRx digital health platform helps patients afford and stay on medications. The platform unlocks new patient and physician touchpoints for life science companies along the patient journey, from point-of-care, to retail pharmacy, through mobile patient engagement.

For more information, follow the company on Twitter, LinkedIn or visit 

Important Cautions Regarding Forward Looking Statements        
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the definition of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and such as in section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements should not be used to make an investment decision. The words ‘estimate,’ ‘possible’ and ‘seeking’ and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements,

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Southeastern Conference’s Crises Show How College Football Teeters Day by Day

ATLANTA — For the first three weeks of its college football season, the Southeastern Conference and its powerhouse teams like Florida and Alabama dodged the worst of the problems that other leagues and schools had confronted while playing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Then came this week: swells of virus cases and contact traces in at least three football programs, the postponements of two games and the hasty isolation of college football’s most renowned coach, Nick Saban of Alabama, after he tested positive for the virus before the season’s most anticipated showdown, his second-ranked Crimson Tide’s Saturday night matchup against No. 3 Georgia.

More than a month of college football games in leagues across the country has shown the fickle and treacherous reality of playing during a pandemic. No week has unfolded as planned, and as of Thursday night, 31 games involving Football Bowl Subdivision teams had been postponed or canceled for virus-related reasons since late August. Hundreds of players, coaches and staff members nationwide have tested positive for the virus in recent months.

“We’ve just got to take it week by week,” said Derek Mason, the Vanderbilt coach, whose SEC game this Saturday against Missouri was postponed until Dec. 12 because his team would not have enough scholarship players available. “There is no monthly plan. You’ve got to go week by week, day by day.”

Football has sometimes struggled, at both the collegiate and professional levels, to limit the spread of the virus, in part because its leaders eschewed a restrictive environment like the ones that the W.N.B.A. and N.B.A. relied on to preserve their seasons. So-called bubbles were deemed unrealistic, leaving large football teams vulnerable to outbreaks seeded by regular travel and, among college programs, by homes on campuses that were sometimes hot spots for infections.

On Thursday, just days after the N.F.L. rescheduled several games because of new virus cases, the Atlanta Falcons moved to virtual operations because of a positive test, another sign of how the pandemic has disrupted the professional season and forced teams to adjust rapidly.

College football is even more sprawling than the N.F.L., with athletes who are unpaid beyond the cost of attendance and who lack the bargaining power of a players’ union to negotiate how the season and health protocols operate. The sport’s largely decentralized governance has left each conference to craft its own plans during the pandemic.

College sports administrators for months anticipated “bumpy spots,” as Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, put it in August, and they note that most games have happened as scheduled. So there is little sense — at least for the moment — that the season is nearing collapse, particularly as the Big Ten plans to start next week and the Pac-12 plans to begin games by early November.

“Until we have a vaccine, there’s going to be a sense of fluidity,” said Heather Lyke, the athletic director at Pittsburgh, which is in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But she also said she was “more confident than

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