Rutgers puts football program in quarantine after positive COVID-19 tests

Another Big Ten football program is entering quarantine.

Rutgers announced Saturday that it has had six positive COVID-19 tests in its most recent weekly testing cycle. As a result, the school has suspended all team activities and the entire football program will enter quarantine. The school did not say how long it will keep its players and staff in quarantine.

Before the most recent test results, the Rutgers football program experienced four positive tests since returning to campus on June 15.

“We have paused all in-person team activities, quarantined our entire program and will work diligently with Rutgers medical experts, and state and local officials to determine next steps,” the Rutgers athletic department said in a statement.

A Rutgers Scarlet Knights helmet.
Rutgers announced Saturday that it has had six positive COVID-19 tests in its most recent weekly testing cycle. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

Michigan State also put its team in quarantine

The news from Rutgers comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Michigan State on Friday. MSU had already paused workouts because a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. When the school found out via testing that a second staff member and one player also tested positive, it decided all members of its football team would enter a 14-day quarantine.

“Based on early results from COVID-19 testing conducted over the last week on football staff and student-athletes, which included a second staff member and one student-athlete testing positive on Thursday, all members of the football team will quarantine or isolate, while awaiting completion of a 14-day quarantine,” MSU said in a news release.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to approach the season with a conference-only schedule. Meanwhile, the ACC, Big 12 and SEC have yet to make any decisions about the 2020 college football season.

NCAA Board of Governors makes no decision on fall championships

On Friday, the NCAA Board of Governors decided not to make a decision on fall championships, a move supported by the Football Oversight Committee.

“Today the Board of Governors and I agreed that we must continue to thoughtfully and aggressively monitor health conditions around the country and the implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines we issued last week,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.

“The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November. We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see. It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair matter.”

The NCAA does not oversee the College Football Playoff, so a ruling on fall champions would affect college football purely from an optics standpoint, as Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel explained:

The good news for FBS football’s future on Friday came with the NCAA punting the decision on fall sports, which really ends up a win for optics for college football and little else. The decision to postpone fall championships wouldn’t have directly impacted big-time college football. The College Football Playoff is really just a television contract that operates essentially outside of the NCAA’s financial purview.

A decision on fall will likely come on Aug. 4, the next time the Board of Directors is scheduled to meet. Meanwhile, the ACC, Big 12 and SEC are expected to formalize their decisions with respect to scheduling format in the near future.

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