Nine ULL football players out due to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Ragin’ Cajuns football, like every other football program in college football, is dealing with COVID-19 issues.

On Wednesday, head coach Billy Napier said that UL football will be without nine student-athletes against Georgia State, due to last week and this week’s testing. Napier did not specify how many were from which week of testing, saying “several were prior; I’d probably say around 50-50.” He said he did not know the exact number.

Napier stressed that none of the nine out were a result of playing the game against Iowa State on Saturday.

“You’ve got to realize that all nine of these are not positive,” Napier says. “There’s contact tracing here. We can’t necessarily be specific about that. We’re trying to give you a number, and that’s really what we’re going to be limited to.”

Napier said he would not release the names of the student-athletes out due to certain policies.

“Our medical team continues to do an outstanding job,” Napier says. “This is reality, ya know,” Napier says. “Every team in America is dealing with these parameters. We’re confident in the safety of our team being handled in a first-class manner.”

During last weekend’s trip to Ames, Iowa, Napier said they had twice as many tables in the ballroom for meals with half as many people at each table. The team used the locker rooms and training table in shifts, as well as had percentage-capacity rules in all meetings in hopes of mitigating any spread.

They also take additional buses, so each person has their own two seats. Napier also says the team is taking an extra large plane to Atlanta for Saturday’s game against Georgia State.

The program did “tons” of research with peers across the country and the NFL.

“They’re young men,” Napier says. “They’re teenagers. Reality is they’re going to make some bad decisions at times, as simple as going to pick up drive-thru and eating together in the car. That’s not a good decision, right. That would be an example of a costly mistake on our part. Things like that are costing us at this point. Gotta continue to learn. Gotta continue to stay focused, and realized that this is part of the rules. If you’re a competitor, you want to do everything you can do to win. You’ve got to make decisions relative to COVID-19 to win.”

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