- The University of Florida has paused organized football activities due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
- The school athletic department reported 5 positive tests but several media outlets have indicated there are as many as 19 positives.
- Florida is scheduled to host LSU on Saturday but the status of that game is now in doubt.
This was supposed to be a big weekend for #10 ranked Florida as they are set to host conference rival LSU. The game is now in doubt after the Gators were forced to ‘pause’ organized football activities following multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
The initial announcement from the athletic department on Tuesday indicated five positive tests. Athletic director Scott Stricklin released this statement announcing the ‘pause’ of football activity:
“The University of Florida football team has experienced an increase in positive COVID tests among players this week. Out of an abundance of caution, team activities are paused as of Tuesday afternoon.
“Head coach Dan Mullen has been in communication with football players and their parents, and I have had conversations with the Southeastern Conference office, last week’s opponent Texas A&M and this week’s opponent LSU. These circumstances will be re-evaluated by UF Health and the athletic department’s sports medicine staff Wednesday.”
Since then, a number of media sources have reported that the actual number of positive COVID-19 tests among the Florida football team is 19. In addition, 10 players face mandatory quarantines due to contact tracing guidelines. G. Allan Taylor at The Athletic raised a serious concern:
“Most of those 29 players currently sidelined are on scholarship, which leaves in question whether the Gators can meet the minimum of 53 scholarship players needed to play a game under SEC guidelines”
No announcement as of 10 AM Pacific regarding the status of the game against LSU. On Tuesday, the Don Best live odds feed posted this alert:
LSU has their own injury issues though none related to COVID-19. Starting quarterback Myles Brennan is listed as ‘doubtful’ for Saturday’s game. Right now, the Florida injury report clearly doesn’t reflect the full extent of their COVID-19 issues:
The Gators football team had a full squad COVID-19 test this morning and presumably the previously announced positive tests are also being confirmed. Head coach Dan Mullen really didn’t add much in a teleconference call earlier today:
“I don’t want to speculate where we are right now. We’re taking an abundance of caution. We’re pausing all activities until we get the results of today’s test back. We came in and tested early this morning. We’re certainly hoping and everybody that we’ve worked for getting these tests back before we conduct any team activity to make sure that we’re keeping everyone as safe as possible.”
He did confirm that the entire team was tested today and that two assistant coaches tested positive but are asymptomatic:
“The entire team again tested today. Both coaches that did test positive were asymptomatic so we’re going to wait to get today’s test results to see where we’re at.”
Mullen said that a decision about the game would most likely come later today. Although he declined to speculate on what that decision would be given the abundance of positive tests it doesn’t look good.
UPDATE: Local media is reporting that the Florida/LSU will be postponed. So far no confirmation from the SEC, the University of Florida or Don Best: