NCAA Athletes Were Pressured to Practice. Now Over 150 Have COVID-19


More than 150 players at NCAA Division I revenue sports have tested positive for coronavirus, weeks after returning to their university campuses for voluntary workouts in early June. While not every program is disclosing positive test numbers, ClemsonKansas State, the University of Texas, and the University of Iowa each report more than a dozen confirmed cases of coronavirus among the athletes who’ve come back to campus so far. Clemson is currently reporting the highest number, with 28 total confirmed cases, 23 of which are football players preparing for a still-scheduled 2020 season.

How, or why, are schools being allowed to put players in a situation where so many of them are getting sick? Via a loophole: Division I schools are currently prohibited from resuming official practices, but athletic departments have started so-called “voluntary workouts,” or preseason strength and conditioning sessions that aren’t led by coaches. On paper, voluntary workouts are optional, but coaches and former college athletes say it’s not so black and white.

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