Add Vanderbilt to the list of teams pressing the pause button on fall camp. Yesterday afternoon, a Vanderbilt spokesman confirmed that multiple members of the football program have tested positive for COVID-19 in the opening week of practice. The university did not reveal the number of positive tests, nor whether the individuals were players, coaches, or staff members.
“As part of our ongoing testing procedures, we have been made aware of positive COVID-19 test results in our football program,” the statement said, via The Tennessean. “We are following the university’s protocols, and we are working closely with our Public Health Command Center and other health officials who are assessing potential close contacts and advising on additional steps. Because of applicable federal student privacy law, we are unable to publicly disclose personally identifiable information about any student who has tested positive for COVID-19.”
WKRN’s Cory Curtis is reporting that Vandy will not hold practice today. So far, at least five Commodores have opted out of the season over COVID-19 concerns, including lead tackler Dimitri Moore.
“We’ve had five or six opt out, and I know there will be several across the league as this thing gets closer,” Head Coach Derek Mason told ESPN on Saturday. “Our kids are looking, listening and paying attention and making decisions for themselves, and that’s exactly what me and my program encourage. You want these guys to be part of your program and part of your team, but not if they’re uncomfortable.”
Kentucky is scheduled to play Vanderbilt November 14 at Kroger Field. On Tuesday, Mark Stoops said no Wildcats have opted out of the season so far, but he’s encouraging them to make the right decisions for themselves.
“Our players have been told from myself and from Mitch Barnhart directly that they have every opportunity to opt out with no repercussions, no penalties and at this point I have not had one person come to me and talk to me about opting out,” Stoops said. “That’s not to say that it come not come here today or in the future, but at this point, I have not heard of anybody.”