Duke pauses in-person football activities due to COVID-19 cluster
from Zac Wassink with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
The starts of college football seasons remain roughly half a year away, but COVID-19 nevertheless continues to present obstacles for programs during offseason preparations.
On Tuesday, the Duke Blue Devils confirmed that they’ve paused in-person team activities indefinitely because of a COVID-19 cluster that included 10 positive coronavirus cases and forced others to enter quarantine following contact tracing.
“While vaccinations continue, Duke Health officials warn that positive rates could spike without continued observance of preventive measures, including wearing masks, remaining six feet from others, and washing hands regularly,” the university added. Teams are permitted a total of 15 spring practices per NCAA regulations, but NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee chair and West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons told ESPN’s Andrea Adelson that the governing body will review and modify practice schedules and guidelines “on a case-by-case basis.”
Earlier in the day, the Ohio State Buckeyes paused all football activities because of an increase in positive COVID-19 cases.
“What happens if you run into a situation with your coaching staff, student-athletes, and you have to put it on pause for several days?” Lyons explained. “We didn’t want to start creating a blanket waiver and all of that, so we just said we would handle it through the NCAA staff on a case-by-case basis to get those days back so everybody remains whole as you move forward.”
Some college teams, such as the Alabama Crimson Tide, are planning for full stadiums in September despite ongoing coronavirus-related concerns.