The University of Texas football program appears to be leading the nation in an unenviable way. The Longhorns have reported 13 positive COVID-19 test results since the first wave of football student-athletes reported to campus last week.
As reported by mysanantonio.com, all 13 players are now self-isolating and 10 more are in self-quarantine and remain asymptotic, according to Allen Hardin, UT's executive senior associate athletics director for Sports Medicine & Performance. In addition, Texas has identified four players who have tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody.
The escalation of positive cases comes as healthy members from that initial group of 58 players were allowed to begin voluntary workouts at Denius Practice Fields.
"The first phase on-boarding program for football student-athletes who live off-campus [upperclassmen] began on June 8, and voluntary workouts for that group started Monday,” UT athletics director Chris Del Conte said. “Mandatory physicals, testing and COVID-19 safety education and training conducted by athletes sports medicine staff were required to be completed before student-athletes could begin the second phase workout programs, which will include daily screening and safety protocols.”
“I don’t think any of us expected us not to have a single player or a single staff member test positive for COVID-19,” UT coach Tom Herman said last Thursday. “That was not our goal. I think that would have been a bit of a pipe dream had we set out for that to be the goal."
It may not be an impossible dream, as the University of Washington has proven so far.
As reported by Sports Illustrated, the school screened 80 athletes on Monday, not specifying how many were football players, and none were shown to have the virus, an athletic department spokesperson said on Thursday. In all, Washington has more than 650 athletes in its different sports and there have been no coronavirus cases reported while they have been away from school, said head trainer Rob Scheidegger, the UW head trainer who's heading up the school's virus response.