Baylor HC Kim Mulkey: NCAA Should 'Dump' COVID-19 Testing at 2021 Final Fours

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey yells out to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Tech, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

Following Baylor's loss to Connecticut in the Elite Eight of the NCAA women's basketball tournament, Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey advocated for the NCAA to stop COVID-19 testing once the Final Four fields are set.

Mulkey told reporters the organization "need[s] to dump the COVID testing."

"Wouldn't it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that end up testing positive or something, and then they don't get to play in the Final Four?" she said. "So, you need to just forget the COVID test and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four go battle it out."

An NCAA men's tournament game between Oregon and VCU was declared a no-contest due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Rams' traveling party. The Ducks automatically moved on to the second round.

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma also missed his squad's first two games after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to play beginning.

Otherwise, the tournaments have largely been insulated from the pandemic.

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continues across the country. However, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned against what she called "another avoidable surge" of positive cases.

Mulkey's comments Monday would seem to contradict the attitude she expressed after recovering from the virus midway through the season.

"The answer is this: The season will continue on. It's called the almighty dollar," she told reporters in January. "The NCAA has to have the almighty dollar from the men's tournament. The almighty dollar is more important than the health and welfare of me, the players or anybody else."