Texas coach Tom Herman is making his staffers be internet sleuths as part of his team’s preparation for Saturday’s game against Baylor.
The Bears’ game on Oct. 10 against Oklahoma State was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak within the Baylor program. According to the school, 28 players on the football team had the virus and there were 17 others who would have been unavailable because of quarantines and contact tracing.
But Baylor hasn’t identified any of the players who would have been unable to play against Oklahoma State. And the team hasn’t said who will or won’t be available against Texas. So Herman is having his staffers hit the message boards.
“We’ve got graduate assistants and secretaries and student assistants scouring the Baylor media sites, especially their message boards and fan boards,” Herman said at his Monday news conference via the Austin American-Statesman. “If they’re anything like ours, if a guy sprains an ankle in practice, the sky is falling. So you’ve got to disseminate what’s real and what’s not real. We’re trying to figure out who we’re going to play, who the players are going to be.”
Unlike the NFL, where injury lists are mandatory and there’s a COVID-19 list for anyone who has tested positive for the virus or come into close contact with someone who has the virus, there are no such requirements in college football.
No teams are publicly identifying players who have tested positive and some schools aren’t even releasing the numbers of players who have tested positive. That’s why Herman and his staffers are having to dig for any information on who may or may not be available on Saturday.
Baylor suspended its football practices after the coronavirus outbreak began and just restarted practices on Monday. Bears coach Dave Aranda said at his news conference that all players and coaches had tested negative for coronavirus on Sunday. That means all that sleuthing that Texas staffers are doing may be in vain.
“I feel like by the middle of the week we’ll have most everybody back,” Aranda said.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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