Kansas Suspends Football Workouts After 12 Players Test Positive for COVID-19

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2020

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 23: A Kansas Jayhawks helmet rest on the field prior to a game against the Texas Longhorns at Memorial Stadium on November 23, 2018 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The University of Kansas suspended voluntary football workouts Friday because of an increase in positive COVID-19 tests.     

According to the school's official athletics website, 164 student-athletes were tested recently. Those tests yielded 16 positive results, 12 of which came from the football team. Overall, 45 Kansas student-athletes are in quarantine.

All Jayhawks football players and staff will self-quarantine for the next 14 days. When that time is up, everyone will be retested, and the program will decide whether to resume workouts.

Kansas athletic director Jeff Long released the following statement regarding the suspension of football workouts:

"After the increase in positive COVID-19 tests within our football program, our medical team at Kansas Team Health has recommended discontinuing voluntary workouts immediately. Our priority remains to keep our student-athletes safe and healthy, especially during this pandemic, and will follow the recommendations of our medical professionals.

"We will only resume our preparations after the 14-day quarantine is complete and our student-athletes and staff have been tested for the virus prior to participating in football activities. In the meantime, we continue to educate our student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, on the importance of following the policies and procedures and recommendations from our Kansas Team Health physicians and the CDC."

Kansas head football coach Les Miles also commented:

"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. Our trainers and doctors will remain in daily contact with each of the student-athletes that tested positive to support them and what we hope will involve only minor symptoms if any. We will follow medical recommendations on returning to activities."

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In the weeks since college football teams have been allowed to start working out together, several high-profile programs have reported positive COVID-19 tests. Among them are LSU, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Ole Miss and Oklahoma.

Kansas' in-state rival, Kansas State, suspended football workouts on June 20 for 14 days after 14 student-athletes out of 130 tested positive for COVID-19.

The NCAA is moving forward with the idea that football will be played in the fall, but if the coronavirus cases keep rising, it is possible that the season could be pushed back to the spring or at least be delayed to some degree.

Kansas hasn't had a winning record since 2008, and it is coming off its second consecutive 3-9 campaign. Even so, there is some excitement surrounding the team with Miles at the helm since he won a national championship as LSU's coach in 2007 and owns a career record of 145-64.

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