Last Updated on June 18, 2020
College football, like all major sports leagues, is facing an uncertain future in the face of COVID-19. The NCAA allowed players to go back to campus for voluntary workouts on June 1, but as student-athletes return to campus, positive COVID-19 cases are coming fast and furious.
Alabama recently had as many as eight players test positive for coronavirus. According to Anwar Richardson of Rivals, six Texas Longhorns players tested positive and 15 are in quarantine. Houston shut down the athletics program after six student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Ohio State Buckeyes athletes are being asked to sign a risk waiver before returning for voluntary workouts according to ESPN.
These are only a few of the schools that are dealing with positive cases — or trying to shield themselves from liability like Ohio State. It’s becoming clear that this college football season will be impacted by the ongoing pandemic. In fact, it already has. Notre Dame and Navy were supposed to open the season against each other, but the game has been moved from Week 0 in Ireland to Week 1 in Annapolis, MD. It’s no surprise that Notre Dame and Navy won’t want to risk traveling internationally.
Although the NCAA is trying to push forward with a normal college football season, it’s not going to be easy. Many states are reopening and easing social distancing guidelines, but this is resulting in an unfortunate second wave of cases.
So far, there have been 2.18 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 119,000 deaths in the United States and those numbers continue to rise. The second wave is hitting many parts of the country, including Texas, Arizona, and Florida. All three states are seeing sharp spikes in cases and hospitalizations.
Alabama was one of the first schools to publicly acknowledge positive COVID-19 cases among the athletics department. The Crimson Tide began voluntary workouts on campus on June 8, but there were a flurry of positive tests before those workouts even began. In fact, some players tested positive upon returning to campus.
The school expected positive cases among the student-athletes and stated that they have a plan for dealing with cases as they happen per AL.com.
The University of Houston reacted quickly to the first positive coronavirus cases on campus. Although the NCAA is still allowing schools to conduct voluntary workouts amid positive tests, Houston decided to shut it down immediately after six student-athletes tested positive. As players returned to campus, Houston. was only testing student-athletes who displayed symptoms. If not for the quick response to the initial cases of COVID-19, Houston’s athletic department could have been hit much harder.
Texas is one of the states that is currently getting hit hard by a second wave of coronavirus cases. The Texas football program continues to rack up positive tests. On Thursday, 13 new players tested positive or are presumed to test positive according to Brian Davis of the Austin-American Statesman. Ten other players are in isolation after making contact with players who tested positive.
As of Thursday, Texas has yet to cancel voluntary workouts, but they are continuing to test players and perform temperature checks daily.
Schools With Positive COVID-19 Cases