OU football: Lincoln Riley says Sooners to quarantine prior to return to campus
OU football coach Lincoln Riley on Wednesday discussed his program's plan for a return to campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Riley said all players and staff members would quarantine beginning mid-June before they return to campus, and that there will be extensive testing when they do return.
“We’ve already learned so much more about some of the testing procedures and the quarantine procedures for our players have changed just in that time (since OU decided to return July 1),” Riley said. “So I can only imagine how much more we’re going to learn in the next several weeks. We’re still constantly gathering information, but I would say we’re going to have an initial quarantine of our players before they ever set foot on campus — all players and all staff members.
“We are going to have extensive testing after that quarantine is completed, and at that point any players and staff members test positive, we have a quarantine plan in place. There will be additional testing ongoing.”
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OU announced it would return its players to campus for voluntary workouts on July 1 on May 26. Riley said this decision was made before the Big 12 announced its schools begin voluntary workouts on June 15. Riley said the July 1 date was made before the Big 12 or NCAA announced decisions on when schools could return.
“We made the decision that we were going to bring our players back in the neighborhood of July 1 several weeks ago,” Riley said. “This was made well before the Big 12 made a decision, it was made well before any other league made a decision, it was made well before the NCAA came out and said what you could or couldn’t do.”
Riley was also asked about the NCAA’s recent extension of its ban on in-person recruiting through July 31. He said he thought the extension was a good move, and that it will be a while until it is safe for coaches to visit recruits in person.
“Do you quarantine recruits? Do you give recruits coronavirus tests? Do you potentially infect a whole team or staff and lose a game or season to bring a recruit to campus?” Riley said. “It seems kind of far-fetched. In my opinion, I think we’re a ways away from having any recruit or family on campus.”