Louisiana State University football coach Ed Orgeron says a majority of the players contracted the coronavirus in the preseason.
Of the 115 athletes on the roster, Orgeron did not specify how many tested positive or when testing was conducted. He did confirm that “three or four” players have the virus and a few are in quarantine, The Hill reports.
“Not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” Orgeron said during his virtual press conference on Tuesday (Sept. 15), adding later that he did not know the percentage of players who contracted the virus.
“I think, hopefully, that once you catch it, you don’t get it again,” Orgeron added. “I’m not a doctor. I think they have that 90-day window, so most of the players that have caught it, we do feel like they’ll be eligible for games.
“So we look at the players that have caught it and say, ‘OK these guys should be eligible,’” Orgeron continued. “We look at the players who haven’t caught it; we talk to them about being very, very careful so they’re eligible for games. But we know that the players that haven’t caught it, we have to have some backups in their position ready in case they catch it. So we’re looking at our roster in that manner.”
Over the summer, 30 players were quarantined after a positive test or contact tracing, Sports Illustrated reported in June.
Orgeron said players who tested positive failed to practice social distancing, and many frequent the popular nightlife district for students known as Tigerland.
In June, the Louisiana Department of Health reportedly traced more than 100 positive COVID cases back to Tigerland.
“We need football. Football is the lifeblood of our country,” Orgeron said at a July roundtable with Vice President Pence.
“I don’t think we can take this away from our players, take this away from our state and our country,” he said.
The university overall has had 754 positive COVID-19 cases in the last month and 50 positives from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, according to the report.
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