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OU football: Lincoln Riley says contact tracing holds 'excruciating' for Sooners

NORMAN — OU football coach Lincoln Riley said Tuesday that a "high majority" of players held out for contact tracing never wound up testing positive for COVID-19.

According to guidelines currently in place, players who have "high-risk" contact with a person who has tested positive are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

"And then can come back and hit on another contact trace and all of the sudden, that's 28 days," Riley said. "I mean, gone. That has been difficult because not only do you do that, but then those guys obviously haven't got the virus and haven't built up any type of immunity, so they're still susceptible to hitting on a contact trace or the virus."

Most of the players who have been held out due to contact tracing are players whose roommates have tested positive.

"We have seriously reduced our number of, I guess what you would call contact traces that we could have avoided — doing something dumb, going to a restaurant with somebody, getting into a car with somebody," Riley said. "We've really made big improvements there. But the one thing that's really difficult to get around unless you just sit there at home and wear a mask all day, which is difficult for everybody to do, is the roommate situation."

Riley said some players, though, are wearing masks when they're at their apartments if they are anywhere other than alone in their bedrooms.

"It's excruciating for the kid," Riley said of the players who are forced out due to contact tracing, so at least some of his players are taking extra precautions.

"That's been shown to be very, very effective," Riley said. "It still comes down to you've got to wear a mask when you're around anybody. It comes down to that. It's hard. It's part of it. If you want to play, you want to be around it, it's just what you've got to do."

Riley said the new rapid test, which was implemented by the Big 12 for testing the day before games, has made the window to learn results smaller but hasn't changed the outcome of contact tracing and he didn't expect contact tracing guidelines to be changed during the season.

"I think you could potentially see a situation where a state says it's only 10 days if you have two negative tests in the last few days but I still don't think guys will be eligible for competition because I know the league wants to keep it fair across the board, which makes a lot of sense."

He said results of last Friday's test were known two hours after they were administered, where for other testing, the results are known late that night or early the next morning for those tested early in the day.


Related Photos
OU coach Lincoln Riley points to an official during Saturday's game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Missouri State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

OU coach Lincoln Riley points to an official during Saturday's game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Missouri State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a1af4cfe1e8a950e9c844b7fd3c6ad47.jpg" alt="Photo - OU coach Lincoln Riley points to an official during Saturday's game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Missouri State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World " title="OU coach Lincoln Riley points to an official during Saturday's game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Missouri State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World "><figcaption>OU coach Lincoln Riley points to an official during Saturday's game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Missouri State at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7459eab5baedfefdb43fdacda1fb5b52.jpg" alt="Photo - Fans walk past Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Fans walk past Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Fans walk past Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7cc80d95537cbc59095271fffcb9b259.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fe571fa9e2cdbc245197ae8e8db8b296.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-da7d4b12a24e7f4c9bf50b6ef2c0c050.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-95a5451b74138e4b2e139ed2c80d412b.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People gather at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d439ed274ad727d5e6793071672a572b.jpg" alt="Photo - Fans walk past a sign displaying new game day policies before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Fans walk past a sign displaying new game day policies before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Fans walk past a sign displaying new game day policies before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-81e235aeea93b8a446c318063b7f7951.jpg" alt="Photo - Randy Kornele shows his flag beside Braxton Walden, 13, as they sit outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Randy Kornele shows his flag beside Braxton Walden, 13, as they sit outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Randy Kornele shows his flag beside Braxton Walden, 13, as they sit outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a881cdda41b252a1919bef8b85958fa7.jpg" alt="Photo - A crowd stands outside at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A crowd stands outside at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A crowd stands outside at Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f2cbde0d7f5eacc581b249aa668a0bcb.jpg" alt="Photo - A crowd visits Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A crowd visits Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A crowd visits Campus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-03b4a2fd56733320d5aa1f10326ef5af.jpg" alt="Photo - Parking lot attendants hold signs an hour before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Parking lot attendants hold signs an hour before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Parking lot attendants hold signs an hour before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1ce0b1cd170754524e93760997a28c54.jpg" alt="Photo - A man looks a statue of Sam Bradford at Heisman Park before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A man looks a statue of Sam Bradford at Heisman Park before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A man looks a statue of Sam Bradford at Heisman Park before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b5623e6aaa900a43649bdd64872f2185.jpg" alt="Photo - The Sam Bradford statue at Heisman Park is seen with a mask before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="The Sam Bradford statue at Heisman Park is seen with a mask before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The Sam Bradford statue at Heisman Park is seen with a mask before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a7015e81e8c22354dde6754258be0adc.jpg" alt="Photo - A fan plays football in a parking outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="A fan plays football in a parking outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>A fan plays football in a parking outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8311ca0fb73fc189de2a1d2bf91e28a5.jpg" alt="Photo - Fans take photos outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Fans take photos outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Fans take photos outside Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9d169fee054933c3505b0dd52253647a.jpg" alt="Photo - The Sooner Schooner heads toward Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="The Sooner Schooner heads toward Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The Sooner Schooner heads toward Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5bfef65a68b45b0b269107d76f812833.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma fans walk on campus before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Oklahoma fans walk on campus before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Oklahoma fans walk on campus before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6df6709e4a6b98ffdcf7750d3118d0f5.jpg" alt="Photo - People gather on Camus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="People gather on Camus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>People gather on Camus Corner before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e510afc8a2b12595b896769c3cea5bd3.jpg" alt="Photo - A small group watches football games outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A small group watches football games outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A small group watches football games outside before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e65a532e32575385760baea769ae3745.jpg" alt="Photo - The Pride of Oklahoma makes their way to Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="The Pride of Oklahoma makes their way to Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The Pride of Oklahoma makes their way to Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a9f7b32447f5934c6c7658e0169114ab.jpg" alt="Photo - A crowd gathers off campus during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]" title="A crowd gathers off campus during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>A crowd gathers off campus during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and Missouri State in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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