The NCAA recently permitted teams to allow athletes to return to campuses and participate in socially distanced workouts across the country. Most of the top-tier College Football programs were quick to take advantage and begin holding workouts but in order to do so players would first need to be screened for coronavirus.
According to a report from Bamainsider which was picked up by everyone from Fox News to Yahoo! Sports, at least five University of Alabama Football players tested positive for coronavirus upon returning to campus and will now need to be quarantined.
The players are unnamed due to privacy reasons but their positions are listed as ‘at least one quarterback, skill players and a lineman.’
The report goes on to state that Alabama Football players held their own workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday with the players voluntarily working out ‘in large groups’ and at least one of those players seen leading the workouts is one of the five who tested positive. According to Fox News, none of the players who tested positive previously showed symptoms.
Alabama players returned to the area this week as voluntary workouts are set to begin next week. Multiple videos posted online on Tuesday and Wednesday showed Alabama players working out in large groups on their own without university coaches present.
According to Al.com, “at least one” of the players who tested positive attended the player-led workout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. That particular player was “asymptomatic,” Al.com is reporting.
CBS 42’s Simone Eli is reporting that players were tested on Tuesday, worked out with one another on Wednesday and the test results came back on Thursday. Per Eli, “nearly 50 players” attended the workouts. (via Yahoo!)
A young guy I’ve heard is making a good early impression during Alabama’s player workout sessions: Freshman wide receiver Javon Baker.
Four-star prospect from Georgia.
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) June 3, 2020
Looks like the coronavirus has effected the Alabama football team.
Obviously, they will have to quarantine but it makes me think what would happen if this took place during the season. https://t.co/m30jnsa98v
— Mark Skol, Jr. (@markskoljr_WNDU) June 4, 2020
June 8th is the official date that SEC universities are allowed to resume in-person athletic activities and these round of testing. I think the major silver lining here is that most collegiate athletes have access to significantly better healthcare on-campus than they do in the real world. Programs like the University of Alabama Football have full-time medical staff looking after the health and well-being of the athletes versus the general public like myself who have a thermometer to check our temperatures and are told to go get tested if we think we’re really sick.
It would be extremely naive for anyone to think this is an Alabama-specific issue. We are going to see this same story play out at colleges all across the nation as student-athletes return to campus and possibly throughout the seasons. It’s not as if these collegiate athletes live in a bubble.