3 Louisville Soccer Players Dismissed After Party Leads to 29 COVID-19 Cases

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2020

Members of the Akron team, in white, celebrate a goal by Scott Caldwell as Louisville goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux, second from left, and other member of the Louisville team reacts during the second half of an NCAA college soccer match, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010, in Santa Barbara, Calif. Akron won 1-0.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The University of Louisville has dismissed three players from its men's soccer program and suspended three more after the athletes were found to have held a party last weekend resulting in 29 positive cases of COVID-19, per the Louisville Courier-Journal's Cameron Teague Robinson.

The outbreak forced both men's and women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball programs on campus to temporarily shut down workouts. Kentucky had previously limited large gatherings to no more than 10 persons, per Teague Robinson. 

Each of the students dismissed from the program had prior team violations, according to a release from the university. 

"I'm extremely disappointed in these young men and particularly with the three that have been dismissed," men's soccer coach John Michael Hayden said. "They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program. Our student-athletes are held to a high standard of conduct as representatives of our program and university."

Contract tracing conducted by the university found last Saturday's party—organized by the men's soccer players—as the source of the outbreak. Students across the athletic department began testing positive for the virus the following Monday. 

All those who contracted or were exposed to the virus were immediately placed in quarantine. 

Teague Robinson notes Louisville has paused workouts for both the men's basketball and swimming programs at different points over the summer because of positive tests for the coronavirus, however, this marks the first time cases have spiked as the result of an off-campus event. 

Added Director of Athletics Vince Tyra:

"I fully support John Michael's decision. It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team. Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department." 

The school has not released the names of the players disciplined.