28 Rutgers Football Players Have Reportedly Tested Positive for COVID-19

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 4, 2020

New Rutgers NCAA college football coach Greg Schiano, center, talks with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, right, and Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs after an introductory news conference in Piscataway, N.J., Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. After an on-again, off-again courtship, Schiano is back as Rutgers football coach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The number of Rutgers football players who have tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 28 on Tuesday, per a report from Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media. That number is in addition to multiple staff members.

A total of 15 players tested positive for COVID-19 between mid-June, when members of the team returned to campus for voluntary workouts, and July 29, per Sargeant.

As of early July, only four players had tested positive, but a spike occurred late in the month. Per Sargeant, New Jersey State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli blamed the Scarlet Knights' rise in COVID-19 cases on a party that Rutgers athletes attended in July.

Rutgers shut down workouts on July 25 and moved the team to an on-campus dorm for quarantine, per Sargeant. Players are undergoing tests every two days and receiving food from coaches and staff.

Some players have experienced symptoms related to COVID-19, while others are asymptomatic.

Rutgers is scheduled to begin a Big Ten conference-only slate on Sept. 5 against Nebraska. Head coach Greg Schiano has returned to coach the team after leading the Scarlet Knights from 2001 to 2011, going 68-67 with five bowl wins.

Conferences and individual schools across the United States have either moved to league-only slates or postponed football in 2020 entirely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in over 4.62 million confirmed cases and 154,000 deaths in the United States, per the World Health Organization on Tuesday. A total of 47,183 cases were confirmed Tuesday.

Division I-FBS is looking to forge ahead with a season, and many teams returned to campus for voluntary workouts in June.

However, some schools have reported outbreaks among teams, with Clemson announcing on June 26 that 37 Tigers had tested positive, per Matt Connolly of The State.

Maryland, Ohio State and North Carolina all paused workouts (among other schools) but have since resumed.

The Division I-FBS slate is scheduled to begin Saturday, August 29 with six games, including 2020 College Football Playoff participant Oklahoma hosting Missouri State.