Louisville men's soccer team dismisses 3 players for throwing party that led to COVID-19 outbreak

The party that caused a COVID-19 outbreak and the shutdown of four Louisville sports teams has led to severe consequences for the men’s soccer players who organized the get-together.

Louisville announced Thursday that three members of its men’s soccer team have been dismissed from the team due to the events of last weekend, and three more players had been suspended.

Per Louisville, the dismissed athletes all had prior team violations and were “primarily responsible” for throwing the party in question, after which 29 Louisville student-athletes tested positive.

Louisville: Party was ‘unacceptable and dangerous’

Men’s soccer coach John Michael Hayden, a former MLS player who took over the program last year:

"I'm extremely disappointed in these young men and particularly with the three that have been dismissed," said UofL men's soccer head coach John Michael Hayden. "They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program. Our student-athletes are held to a high standard of conduct as representatives of our program and university."

Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra endorsed the decision in the same announcement:

"I fully support John Michael's decision," said UofL Vice President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. "It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team. Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department."

29 student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19

CARY, NC - NOVEMBER 11: A flag waves in the wind displaying the Louisville Cardinals logo during the ACC Men's Soccer Championship between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Louisville Cardinals on November 11, 2018 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
An off-campus party has led to dire consequences for Louisville athletics. (Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Louisville announced on Wednesday it had suspended all-team related activities for its men’s soccer, women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball programs, revealing that 29 members of the four teams had tested positive for COVID-19. Even more student-athletes from other sports were reportedly quarantined due to potential exposure to the virus.

The earliest members of the four suspended teams can return to workouts on campus is Aug. 10, provided they haven’t tested positive for the virus or been identified through contact tracing.

The primary source of the positive tests was traced by Louisville to an off-campus party, and it apparently didn’t take long for the Cardinals to figure out who was responsible.

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