LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Strap on your helmet. Adjust your shoulder pads. This college football season is going to be a wild ride.
Three days after Indiana football coach Tom Allen appeared on a conference call and said he remained optimistic that the Hoosiers would start their season on time with a Sept. 4 game at Wisconsin, IU became the latest program to hit the pause button on voluntary workouts because of the novel coronavirus Friday.
Here is a portion of the official statement from IU athletics:
“The Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has paused all voluntary workouts for members of its football program after six of its participants tested positive during COVID-19 testing this week.
“Following the guidance of the IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group, IU Athletics began bringing groups of students back to campus for voluntary workouts on June 15. The Medical Advisory Group’s Restart Plan, which was released June 3, includes a series of pre-participation protocols before participants can be reintegrated. Following reintegration, subsequent requirements for voluntary workout participants include daily medical checks, abiding by CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, and, when deemed necessary by IU Athletics’ Chief Medical Officer, COVID-19 testing.
“Per the recommendations of the IU Athletics Medical Advisory Group, each positive test results in isolation until further notice and contact tracing measures are established to detect individuals who are considered close contacts, and may have been exposed to the virus. These close contact individuals are also quarantined until further notice.
“This pause does not impact individuals who have been cleared to participate in voluntary workouts from the IU’s men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and field hockey programs.
“All summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored and will remain in good standing with their team.”
Last week, the Big Ten announced its football teams would play a conference only schedule in 2020, prompting IU to cancel games with Western Kentucky, Ball State and Connecticut.
On Tuesday, during his media session, Allen said this:
“I know there are a lot of questions out there. I think we will start our season on time. I do. I feel like that there will be challenges to maintain our season without interruptions. You do what your always do here. You focus on what you know.”
After reporting zero positive tests during its first update last month, Indiana had four positive tests across the athletic department last month. Allen said not all of them were within the football program.
After winning eight games last season, the Hoosiers have been picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten East by several preseason publications.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.