OU football: Athletic director Joe Castiglione says coronavirus testing for team could cost up to $18,000
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione shared some insight Friday morning about the pricing for coronavirus tests the Sooners will use when the football team returns for voluntary workouts on July 1.
In a radio interview with Toby Rowland on SportsTalk1400, Castiglione said that a nasopharyngeal will cost between $75 and $100 per test and an antibody test would run slightly less than that. He said testing the entire team would cost between $15,000 and $18,000.
"We're watching that all the time," Castiglione said of the supply and price of tests. "The more tests that are available, that price is most likely to come down."
Castiglione said the university will look at other methods of testing, but the nasopharyngeal test is currently the most reliable and accurate test on the market.
Along with the expense of testing, Castiglione said OU is also taking into account the price of disinfecting all of the facilities and providing personal protective equipment to players and staff.
"We do that everyday anyway," Castiglione said. "Obviously we're fighting something different here now. ... There are some budgetary impacts, but we're going to find a way to do the right thing so we can protect everybody."
The Sooners are reopening their facilities for voluntary workouts on July 1, which is weeks later than some other notable teams. Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Alabama, among others, each opened their facilities for voluntary workouts in June. Each of those teams had multiple players test positive for coronavirus upon their return to campus.
OU coach Lincoln Riley said in May the idea of players returning on June 1 was "one of the most ridiculous things I've heard," and recently said coming back later than other programs could be advantageous in learning about the virus.
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“We knew what we were gonna do, and it’s been amazing — it’s probably been close to a month since we made that decision — we’ve already learned so much more about it." Riley said last week on a Zoom call with reporters. "Some of the testing procedures and quarantine procedures for our players and all that have changed just in that time. So I can’t imagine how much more we’ll learn in the next several weeks. So we’re still constantly gathering information.”
The NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee finalized a plan Thursday approving a six-week preseason practice plan. For OU, required workouts could start on July 13, walkthrough practices on July 24 and fall camp starting on Aug. 7. The plan must be approved by the NCAA Division I Council, which will act on the proposal on June 17.
Castiglione said he supports the timelines because they balance safety with giving players enough time to prepare for the season to start.
"I am (comfortable with the timelines)," Castiglione said. "There's a chance it gets modified before it gets approved, but I'm okay. I've talked to Coach Riley daily and we've been working through all these different machinations as they've been proposed or maybe we've had ideas we've proposed to the working group. This makes sense. It allows us to ramp up a little bit more."