The University of Virginia (UVA) and University of Louisville football game set to take place Saturday has been tentatively rescheduled to November 14, after several Cardinals players and support staff tested positive for the coronavirus this week, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced Wednesday.
This is the second time a UVA football game has needed to be moved from its original date because of COVID-19 this season.
Along with the announcement, Louisville Director of Athletics Vince Tyra, also said the football program was pausing all team activities for the time being.
“We now have ten players who have tested positive [and] we have five more in quarantine due to contact tracing, so 15 in total related to the team,” Tyra said during Wednesday press conference via Zoom. “But In addition, we have five support staff members who tested positive and two more are in quarantine. A total of 22 [players and staff] made up of 15 positives and seven in quarantine.”
Tyra said the outbreak specifically centered around the team’s defensive line, and eight out of ten positive cases were on the defensive side of the ball. One player from offense and one from the special team unit accounted for the two other cases.
Those players have experienced mild or insignificant symptoms and no member of the coaching staff has tested positive or needed to go into quarantine, according to Tyra.
After the most recent batch of positive tests came in Louisville, the ACC and UVA were in communication discussing the appropriate next steps. Both the ACC and UVA were understanding of the situation, Tyra said.
Louisville and UVA had an open date in their schedules on November 14.
The Cavaliers had to move its original November 14 game against Duke to September 26 after its season opener against Virginia Tech had to be rescheduled because of coronavirus cases within the Hokies team.
Tyra said that rescheduling the UVA game will allow the athletics department to assess any further spread of the virus.
“We’ll test the players again Friday morning, as we normally would on a Friday, and then we are going to test again on Sunday morning,” Tyra explained. “Those results will dictate when we return to team activities, so we’re certainly hopeful that the results allow us to get back quickly to practice, but if we see a spread inside or outside the locker room, we may have to extend that period.”
While team activities are paused, Louisville players cannot go into the facility to work out, but they will be able to pick up meals, according to Tyra.
UVA made its own announcement on Wednesday in a short release published online, but Director of Athletics Carla Williams did not specifically address the situation.
If Louisville and UVA do not end up playing next Saturday, Tyra said the ACC would likely move their game to the same day as the conference championship on December 19th, if neither team had qualified at that time.
The Cavaliers (2-4) are currently 11th in the ACC, while the Cardinals (2-5) are in last place.
“The kids want to play. We’ve learned that with the other teams in the league too and you certainly want to support that, but you’ve got to make these decisions as best you can on the fly,” Tyra said. “Nobody is an expert on how to dictate the numbers, but I feel like we made a good decision.”
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “University of Virginia Football” by Mak7912. CC BY-SA 3.0.