Friday, July 3, 2020

Kansas football suspends voluntary workouts after 12 positive COVID-19 tests

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches his players against Texas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Kansas head coach Les Miles watches his players against Texas during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)


An uptick in positive COVID-19 tests has led the Kansas football program to suspend its voluntary summer workouts, KU officials announced Friday morning.

Twelve football players have now tested positive for COVID-19 and KU has issued a 14-day self-quarantine requirement for all football players and staff members.

As of Monday, the number of KU football players who had tested positive was at three.

“When we welcomed our young men back to campus a couple of weeks ago for voluntary workouts, even with the policies and procedures in place to try and protect them from becoming infected with the virus, events outside of our control has made the decision to pause these workouts necessary,” KU coach Les Miles said in a statement.

Miles said KU trainers and doctors, through Kansas Team Health, would have daily communication with the players who tested positive in order to monitor the situation.

“We will follow medical recommendations on returning to activities,” he added.

At the conclusion of the 14-day self-quarantine by KU football players, all student-athletes and staff will be retested to determine whether conditioning activities can resume.

“Our priority remains to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy, especially during this pandemic, and we will follow the recommendations of our medical professionals,” KU Athletic Director Jeff Long said in the release. “We will only resume our preparations after the 14-day quarantine is complete and our student-athletes and staff have bene tested for the virus prior to participating in football activities.”

To date, KU has tested 164 student-athletes and received 16 positive tests. According to a Kansas Athletics news release, the four non-football tests came from four other sports.

A little more than two weeks after the football team was welcomed back to campus for voluntary workouts, athletes from the rest of KU’s fall sports rosters, which include men’s and women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis, women’s rowing, women’s swimming and diving and men’s and women’s golf, were allowed to report to campus for the start of voluntary workouts on Wednesday.

KU officials said in the release that all other fall sports athletes would continue to conduct their voluntary workouts at this time.

“Should positive tests increase, we will follow recommendations from Kansas Team Health and suspend additional sports activities as needed,” the release noted.


Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

With this perspective, there is zero chance of the school being anything but virtual much less having a sporty season.

Brad Avery 1 year, 2 months ago

Sad day. Here's hoping that the spread will be contained, the athletes will recover and that their families will not suffer further harm from the deadly disease.

Charlie Gaughn 1 year, 2 months ago

The plan to bring thousands of students from all over the world back for in-person classes is insane. It's not just likely but assured that these college towns will become hot spots and classes will again be halted for an online option. As much as the University wants to, you can't wish this thing away.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

I disagree. Bring them back. Of the 12 that tested positive how many are in the hospital or feel sick. Probably none, as they are young and most likely asymptomatic. After being infiected for a couple of week they will have built some immunity and will no longer be contagious. This is important because soon the younger population have built up immunity by the millions and they will be protecting the older population by making it harder for the virus to spread. If I were KU I would be recommending that no one over 55 attend the games until herd immunity is complete. i would also have everyone sign a waiver to attend if they do they do so at their own risk. I would also recommend no one with medical conditions such as Asthma, heart, liver, kidney, or any kind of pre existiing medical condition attend the games. Otherwise, if you don't mind the risk...go to the game, wear a mask, or gloves, or whatever if you want, and enjoy it!

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

I realize they don’t want it spreading like wildfire, but it is a the flu. It’s not going away. All experts predict that 90% of all of us will get it at some time. Cases are up, but hospitalization and deaths are still down. We hunker down and it deflates in numbers. We come out and it spikes.....rinse, repeat. I’m thinking “controlled” exposure is the answer

Dirk Medema 1 year, 2 months ago

Steven - Very True. IIRC roughly half the deaths were in NYC where they sent infected patients to live in nursing homes with the most vulnerable and continued using ventilators (extra reimbursements) even after it was proven detrimental.

I’m recalling that SARS died out (before a vaccine was developed) when the infected rate was about 70%. At this time, the claim is that it doesn’t matter if you have recovered, because we don’t know that you can’t get reinfected. Reinfections would render a vaccine irrelevant so they will likely prove it just before approving the vaccine.

The other answer is improved personal health. Studies have shown the effects are reduced for people with increased levels of vitamin D. Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D/medicine. Only one time - yesterday was the first, have I heard any leader make any mention of this critical aspect of fighting this and every other disease; be healthy. My whole family had it. We were uncomfortable for a day each. Not even as bad as other cases of the flu. This is common with most people not even realizing they’ve had it (2 - 12 times).

Brian Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

Exactly Dirk....the intelligence of our Liberal leaders. Leaders like Cuomo mandating that the sick be put in the same rooms as the elderly through executive order. That is what is called being a "fascist" and punishing people with something they wouldn't do to their own mother. Everyone....keep voting these people in and we get what we deserve. What we really need is some common sense. My advise to the Football coaches. Keep the infected players in their rooms and then on the field after they are cleared and if possible out of the hospitals and nursing homes.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 2 months ago

Charlie, I believe that you are right. I understand that institutions are trying to find ways to make it work. But, because we have handled this worse than any other major nation on the planet, the infections will continue. Without a National plan, each Governor will have to make decisions that will, in turn, effect everything that her/his state touches. College football conferences, for example. Witness the statements from the SC Governor.

Because we have been incredibly bad at handling this pandemic, the real pain will now extend, cause more disruption and loss than needed. Of course, thousands more will also die.

It’s a train wreck. And the cars will keep piling up.

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh Brett.please share with us your infinite wisdom on how you would have handled the situation. I’m on the edge of my seat. Stopping the travel to and from China at such an early time frame was blasted by the Democratic Party. They were saying things Like “fear mongering”. That alone saved tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives. I guess we could take the lead from the brilliant Democratic mayor of New York who sent infected COVID patients to rest homes, killing many. But, please tell me how you would have handled it, while needing to keep the country from completely collapsing. Suicides and drug overdoses and domestic violence was on the increase after the lockdown. You have to take that into consideration too as you play “God” and communist dictator.

Bville Hawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Assuming that once you've had it you have immunity for at least a couple months, if I were a D1 athlete in any men's or women's sport I would want to get infected this summer and get it over with before my season started. I would think with all the work these athletes put in the last thing any would want is to get sick in the middle of their season. The liklihood that any infected D1 athlete would get very sick is extremely low.

Brian Wilson 1 year, 2 months ago

I wish I could could click on a "like" button for you!

Steven Haag 1 year, 2 months ago

Agreed Bville. While they are suspended, I pray that they continue to work on the mental toughness. I am ready to see these athletes give it their all, as a team, as they work to change the culture of the program.

Bee Bee 1 year, 2 months ago

There wont be a football or basketball season. Sports as we know it is dead. The nervous nellys are running the show. All this over a virus that has a death rate of 0.04% and virtually 0% death rate for people under 40. Unbelievable.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.