Amidst escalating coronavirus fears, Baylor suspends start of spring practice, recruiting activities


Add Baylor football to the burgeoning list of FBS schools changing course because of the escalating coronavirus threat.

Baylor had been scheduled to start its first spring practice under new head football coach Dave Aranda on March 17.  Overnight, however, the program released a statement in which it confirmed that the start of spring practice has been suspended until at least March 23.  Additionally, all permissible recruiting activities have been suspended through that same timeframe as well.

Below is the entirety of the statement from Baylor football:

Baylor Football is taking every precaution to ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and the Baylor community. As such, the team will suspend the start of spring practice until at least March 23. The situation will continue to be monitored and any further changes to the schedule deemed necessary will be made as more information becomes available. Additionally, no potential student-athletes will be permitted to make official or unofficial visits to campus until at least March 23, and that status will continue to be evaluated. We are thankful for the leadership of President Livingstone and Mack Rhoades on this matter.

Just a reminder: Right now, and through April 14, recruiting efforts are in a “Quiet Period.” That means that programs can play host to potential recruits, but coaches are not permitted to visit recruits on the road.  Per the 2019-20 recruiting calendar, the next evaluation period kicks off April 15.

In addition to the announcement from Baylor football, it was confirmed Wednesday that Virginia has suspended all team activities related to football.  The Cavaliers had been scheduled to start spring practice March 24; that’s up in the air as well.

On top of that, Nebraska has canceled a Junior Day for 2021 football prospects scheduled for Saturday due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.

Wednesday afternoon, both Michigan (HERE) and Ohio State (HERE) announced that they would be canceling their respective spring football games.  Those Big Ten schools, like Baylor football, suspended their recruiting activities as well.

Cincinnati (HERE) was the first FBS program to cancel its spring game, announcing that decision two days ago.  Kent State (HERE) followed suit Wednesday afternoon.  Later Wednesday evening, Nevada (HERE) and TCU (HERE) became the latest programs at this level to shutter its spring games/scrimmages.

While not canceled, San Diego State announced overnight that its spring football game, scheduled for March 21, will be played without fans in attendance.  Prospective recruits will, though, be permitted to make visits to the campus.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

west virginia football
Lee Coleman/Getty Images

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.