Colorado football director cited by city after taking team on hike amid COVID-19 pandemic

Ryan Young
·2 min read

Colorado’s director of football operations was ticketed by the city of Boulder after taking more than 100 players on a team hike in violation of local COVID-19 health orders, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Bryan McGinnis, the Buffaloes’ director of operations, was issued a summons on Friday for violating a public health order and ticketed for failing to obtain a large group permit, per the report.

“The city continues to prioritize education of public health orders rather than issuing citations,” Boulder officials wrote in a statement, via the Daily Camera. “However, law enforcement officers will issue citations for especially egregious behaviors like what occurred during this recent hike.”

Players not wearing masks, socially distancing

Per the report, 108 people were in the group with the football team on the hike up Mt. Sanitas, a roughly three-mile round trip hike near Boulder. Many in the group, rangers said, “were not wearing masks or observing social distancing when passing community members on the trail.”

Colorado may take disciplinary action under its student code of conduct and health and safety regulations, according to the Daily Camera, however no punishment has been handed down.

Colorado athletic director Rick George said in a statement that every player who took part in the hike had tested negative for the coronavirus “recently,” and that the hike was used for “training purposes.”

“We acknowledge the lapse in judgment and apologize for our football team partaking in a group activity like this on public open space amid the current COVID-19 climate,” George said in a statement, via the Daily Camera. “We share in the community’s concern and anxiety about the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, and we do not tolerate actions that are contrary to public health orders.

“We will address this with our football program, and continue to educate our coaches, staff and student-athletes about the importance of complying with public health orders, including wearing masks and physical distancing at all times while in public.”

There were more than 6.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Friday night, according to The New York Times, and nearly 200,000 deaths attributed to it. Colorado had nearly 64,000 total cases, just more than 3,000 of which came in the past week. Boulder County had seen 513 new cases over the past week, the second-highest in the state.

A Colorado helmet
More than 100 Colorado players and staff went on a hike on Thursday, and many were not wearing masks or socially distancing up the mountain. (AP/Young Kwak)

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