Positive COVID-19 tests put pause on CSU football

Scott Nies

Colorado State University’s football program joins the unfortunate trend of recent college teams pausing football operations as COVID-19 cases surge.

CSU’s athletic department has announced they will voluntarily pause all football team activity as a result of several positive COVID-19 testings, according to a statement published on their website July 29. It states the team expects to return to full activities within the next two weeks.

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Their decision to pause workouts was voluntary…and reflects our continued commitment to working together to meet or exceed public health guidance as they resume their athletic activities.” -Lori Lynn, Executive Director of the CSU Health Network

The statement indicated that they are “aware of eight positive tests out of more than 140 tests conducted” and they will administer tests to the full team prior to resuming activity, potentially as soon next week.

Although this pause is not mandated by local or state health authorities, CSU hopes to mitigate any further spread to other players or community members by taking time off from practices.

“We are taking this step to voluntarily pause football activities to minimize the opportunity for this virus to spread any further,” CSU Athletic Director Joe Parker said. “We will always put the health and safety of our student-athletes and community first.” 

Lori Lynn, the executive director of the CSU Health Network and co-chair of the Pandemic Preparedness Team, commended the football program on their quick response to the outbreak.

“Their decision to pause workouts was voluntary,” said Lynn. “(It) reflects our continued commitment to working together to meet or exceed public health guidance as they resume their athletic activities.” 

College football programs around the country having halted all football operations for up to 14 days as players and staff have tested positive. Perhaps the highest profile outbreak is at Clemson University after almost one-third of their football roster tested positive for COVID-19 as of June 24.

CSU is scheduled to play against the University of Northern Colorado on Sept. 19 as CSU’s home and season opener, after the Rocky Mountain Showdown was cancelled as a result of the PAC-12’s decision to play conference-only games this fall. However, UNC recently suspended all athletics and voluntary practices indefinitely after multiple positive COVID-19 test results, according to the Coloradoan.

Hopefully pausing football operations can result in a safe, salvaged fall season, but if the recent COVID-19 outbreaks sweeping athletic programs across the country are any indication, a lot still needs to happen to solidify player safety.

Scott Nies can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @scott_nies98.