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A day after having to postpone its upcoming game against Oklahoma State, Baylor revealed its updated COVID-19 testing numbers.
The school said it has 32 active cases among athletes, 29 of which are symptomatic. In a radio interview Monday, Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said 28 of the active cases in the athletic department involve football players. Additionally, 14 members of the football staff have tested positive, Rhoades said.
Baylor also has 44 close-contact cases being monitored in its athletic department, a distinction that requires quarantine. Of the 44, 17 are members of the football program.
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State already postponed
Baylor paused all football activities last week before announcing that it would not be able to participate in the Oklahoma State game, which was scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17. That game has already been rescheduled for Dec. 12.
Rhoades said Sunday that the number of cases on the football team has “caused a position group to fall below the [Big 12’s] minimum threshold of available players.”
“We are disappointed to postpone another game,” Rhoades said. “However, the significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases has led to concerns of an outbreak and the decision to suspend team practice through Oct. 17. Secondly, this has caused a position group to fall below the minimum threshold of available players. Though this is an unfortunate outcome, we remain determined to return to the field in the safest manner possible.”
This is the third game involving Baylor that has been postponed this season. The team’s opener against Louisiana Tech was postponed due to COVID-19 cases on the Louisiana Tech team. Later, Baylor had to call off its game against Houston only six days after it was scheduled. The Bears were not going to have enough players at a certain position group available for the game.
The Big 12 set the minimum number of players required to play in a game at 53, walk-on players included. Part of the requirements include a minimum of seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen and one quarterback.
“Teams falling below any of these benchmarks, based on game-week test results, could still elect to play as scheduled if so desired. Otherwise, upon approval by the Commissioner, the game would be declared a no-contest if it cannot be moved to a later date,” the Big 12 guidelines say.
Baylor-Oklahoma State was the first of two games postponed already this week. The Vanderbilt vs. Missouri game was postponed Monday due to COVID-19 issues at Vanderbilt.
Baylor, which has a 1-1 record so far this year, is next scheduled to play at Texas on Oct. 24.
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