by Jim Buzzerd
There is still not much definitive out there with regard to the 2020 season for the West Virginia University Football Team, but the report last week that 28 football players have tested positive since the team reconvened last month doesn’t provide much optimism that the upcoming season will resemble a season. It seems that with each passing day the chances of playing football this fall decrease.
Since testing began in June, a total of 518 tests have been administered within the department. Positive test results since June total 41. Twenty-eight have come in football, five in men’s basketball, six in women’s basketball, one in women’s soccer and one staff member. All individuals entered self-isolation for 14 days at the time of their positive result and contact tracing was initiated.
WVU athletic director Shane Lyons had some comments on the outbreak of the team. “It was really after the July 4th holiday, about the same time that Monongalia County had the spike,” Lyons said. “We had a spike in the football program as well. From what we can gather going back in the contact tracing, it appears it did not happen in their football facility workouts. Their social activities outside of football is where we believe the positive cases occurred.”
“They have an accountability outside of our facility and what we are doing to try to prevent this. By going into large crowds, by going into facilities on High Street, etcetera, that can’t happen if we want to play football. Understanding the three steps we have to take — the social distancing, the hand washing and the masking, if we do those things, we have a chance to play football come September,” Lyons added.
As for the prospect of playing football this fall Lyons said, “Everything is on the table as we speak. I am working on that and I am also working within the conference itself. What do we do? Do we go conference-only? Do we stay at 12? Do we go 10 games? There’s a lot of different options out there on the table. Some have thrown out a schedule option with the other two leagues — the ACC and the SEC, assuming we stay at 12 games.”
“We want to be patient looking at this and understanding that a month ago it looked a lot different than it does today. Come August 15, we are hoping it looks a lot different as well from the number of cases that are positive out there,” Lyons said.
In Big 12 news, WVU’s defensive tackle Darius Stills was named preseason defensive player of the year. While that is a fine honor his presence on the Mountaineers’ defensive front didn’t sway the media to vote WVU better than an eighth place conference finish in a pre season poll. Hopefully we get to decide this on the field. I would bet heavily that the Mountaineers will finish better than eighth. I would bet lightly that they will be fifth or better.
2020 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll
first place votes in parenthesis
What’s your opinion.
1. Oklahoma (80) 888
2. Oklahoma State (6) 742
3. Texas (4) 727
4. Iowa State 607
5. Baylor 489
6. TCU 477
7. Kansas State 366
8. West Virginia 287
9. Texas Tech 267
10. Kansas 100