Georgia State quarterback Mikele Colasurdo will not be able to play this season after being diagnosed with a heart condition as a result of contracting the coronavirus. He made the announcement on Twitter and sent a message to head coach Shawn Elliott, thanking him and the coaching staff for "providing a safe environment." Colasurdo is a three-star prospect from South Carolina and was ready to make his college debut next month.
"I am very thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed for me," Colasurdo said. I am also incredibly thankful for coach Elliott and trainer Bob for providing a safe environment for us to train and practice. Ultimately, it was the procedures and tests set forth by GSU that called the doctors to find this condition in my heart and help keep me safe... I can't wait to watch my team compete this fall and I could not be more excited to return for the 2021 season!"
Georgia State can't comment on the health of individual student-athletes because of privacy laws. However, the school did say the medical staff "regularly reviews the latest information and recommendations about SARS-CoV-2 infection in athletes, including information about cardiac concerns." Colasurdo didn't reveal the type of heart condition he has, but myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle linked to the coronavirus, has been a growing concern for the Power 5 conferences. According to ESPN, myocarditis was found in at least five Big Ten athletes and several other athletes in various conferences. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are two of the Power 5 conferences who have postponed football and fall sports this year.
Georgia State plays in the Sun Belt Conference and has opted to play this fall. In a statement released earlier this month, the Sun Belt Conference said it will start playing football on Labor Day weekend. "Sun Belt member institutions have focused since June on a safe return to athletic activities," the statement said. "We believe this timetable will allow for the healthy integration of the entire campus community for each Sun Belt member."
Each team in the Sun Belt will play eight conference games with the option for each team to add as many as four non-conference opponents. Georgia State was set to face Murray State on Thursday, Sept. 4, but the game was recently canceled. The Panthers will now start the 2020 season on Sept. 19 against Louisiana-Lafayette.