Tennessee CBB HC Rick Barnes Tests Positive for COVID-19; Team Activities Paused

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2020

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with referee James Luckie during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

The Tennessee Volunteers men's basketball team has paused all basketball activities after head coach Rick Barnes and a number of other members in the program tested positive for COVID-19, per ESPN's Jeff Borzello

Per that report, "the positive tests were conducted Sunday afternoon, and the entire program is getting retested today. Barnes has entered isolation protocol following his positive test."

Tennessee also cancelled games against Charlotte and VCU after the positive tests.

The 66-year-old Barnes is the latest coach to test positive for the coronavirus, following Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Ole Miss' Kermit Davis, Washington State's Kyle Smith and Baylor's Scott Drew. With the recent surge of cases around the United States, there is growing momentum for the NCAA to push back the start of the season.

"I'm glad that [the NCAA is] looking at different things, including I would hope they always keep in mind that if it did get bad, worse than what it is, that maybe you could have [the season] later," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters last week. "I've always been a proponent of that: starting the season later."

Even if the start of the season doesn't get pushed back, coaches are preparing for the possibility of missed games and thin rosters if players test positive for the coronavirus.

"Those thoughts creep in every day," Florida Gators head coach Mike White told the Associated Press. "I wonder how many games I'll miss this year. I wonder how many games we'll have our five starters out there, 12 guys available."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

As for the Volunteers, they enter the season as the No. 12 team in the Associated Press poll and the No. 14 team in the Coaches Poll.