9 Oklahoma players test positive after break from camp
After returning from a nearly weeklong break in preseason camp, nine Oklahoma football players tested positive for COVID-19, coach Lincoln Riley said Saturday.
“Disappointed by the news,” Riley said in a video conference call. “We’ve done such a tremendous job, and certainly you know when you give your players some time that there is risk in that.”
Riley dismissed the players beginning Aug. 8, and they returned to campus on Friday with plans to resume practice on Saturday.
Two additional players have been isolated by contact tracing protocols, he said.
The Sooners had just one positive test since players were tested initially upon their return in July.
“The two times that we’ve had any serious number of cases have been when we brought our players back originally, and here after having a few days where we have not had any organized team activities,” Riley said.
The Sooners play in the Big 12, one of the three Power 5 conferences still scheduled to play a college football season this fall. Oklahoma is scheduled to host Missouri State on Sept. 12 to begin the season.
Riley said his staff will have to “do a better job of educating” players about mitigating risk when they are away from the football facilities.
“The reality is our players are not going to be in this facility all the time,” Riley said. “That is the reality. We don’t have a bubble. We don’t have a hotel that we can put them in and not let them out other than to come to class and come here.”
Riley gabe the players some time off once the season’s start was delayed by the redrawing of the conference game schedule.
“It’d be pretty easy to say right now that I regret it,” Riley said of the decision. “I also feel like if I keep a team hemmed up here for a six- or seven-week training camp that I’d probably regret that, too.”
–Field Level Media