LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech is practicing without at least 20 players who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as an unspecified number of additional players also being isolated because of contact with those affected by the novel coronavirus.
The school said Tuesday that there were 24 active positive cases within the athletic program, including 21 involved with the football team. Coach Matt Wells said one of the positive tests in football was a young coach who has been quarantined, but added that none of his full-time staff members were affected.
Wells didn’t provide any specifics on who the players were or what positions they played.
“Nobody’s been wiped out,” Wells responded, when asked if any position groups had been specifically affected. “But certainly when you have that many positives, then it obviously affects some groups.”
Wells also said two players have decided to opt out of the season, again not identifying those players.
Texas Tech’s athletic program has had 64 positive cases overall from 1,382 tests completed among student-athletes and coaches and staff in multiple sports.
Three weeks ago, before the football team opened preseason practice, the school had performed more than 600 tests for student-athletes on the Lubbock campus. At that point, the football team had reported 26 positive cases, all of which had recovered then.
The school said any student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 is immediately placed in self isolation to prevent the further spread of the virus. Affected student-athletes receive daily monitoring and care from Texas Tech’s sports medicine staff with additional oversight by Lubbock city health officials.
Wells said the positive tests were the reason he decided not to hold a scrimmage as planned last Saturday, and for why the team has altered practice. Wells said he hasn’t cut back the amount of practice, but said those players on the field are getting their normal amount of reps and maybe a little more rest between them.
“Our players have handled it really, really well, and our coaches have,” Wells said.