The Clemson football team has now had 37 of its members test positive for COVID-19 after 14 more confirmed cases were announced Friday, per Matt Connolly of The State.
Clemson announced that 23 players tested positive last week in addition to two football team staff members and three student-athletes from other sports.
Tests done in early June, when the football and men's and women's basketball teams returned to campus for voluntary workouts, returned just three positive tests for student-athletes, per Connolly.
The news comes amid word Friday from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) that there were 1,273 new confirmed cases since the previous day.
There have been a total of 30,263 confirmed cases in the state, including 1,106 on Thursday and 1,291 on Wednesday. Figures have starkly risen since one month ago, when South Carolina announced 209 new cases on May 24.
The city of Clemson is located in Pickens and Anderson counties, which combined had 44 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, via the state. Charleston County had the most with 216.
The Clemson football team held a demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and social justice June 13. Roughly 3,000 people attended the event, per Scott Keepfer of the Greenville News.
That might lead one to wonder whether the demonstration had a significant impact on the stark rise in football players' positive tests, but the athletic department does not believe that led to the cases.
"There's not a prevailing theory on it," Clemson athletic department spokesperson Jeff Kallin told Keepfer. "Is there a ground zero? No, not that we're aware of. There were approximately 2,900 people at the demonstration that weren't Clemson student-athletes, so it's hard to know for sure."
Clemson football is scheduled to begin its season on the road against ACC rival Georgia Tech on Sept. 3.