The Cal men’s basketball team will suspend workouts for “up to two weeks” after a player tested positive for COVID-19, following a regularly scheduled PCR test.
“At this time, the student-athlete who tested positive is asymptomatic,” Cal said in a news release.
The athletic department reported that this is the first positive test result by a Cal athlete since the start of daily testing at the beginning of October. That means the no member of the Cal football team has received a positive test result during that time.
As is the school’s policy, adhering to privacy laws, Cal did not identify the player who received the positive test result.
"For nearly eight months we have managed around pandemic-related issues with our eyes looking forward to a season. Our team and staff will continue to do so now,” Cal coach Mark Fox said in a statement.
Because of local health restrictions that kept the Bears out of Haas Pavilion for normal, indoor workouts later than many other Pac-12 Conference schools were given full access to their facilities, Cal already was behind in preparation for its season.
The team spent the early weeks of the fall doing limited training on a converted outdoor tennis court.
But with the first game expected to be played as soon as Nov. 25, this is a significant setback for the Bears. Two weeks from today is Nov. 10, just 15 days off from the first day teams can schedule games.
Cal has not released its basketball schedule after non-conference games it initially arranged were canceled when the Pac-12 announced on August 11 that no sports would be played through the end of the 2020 calendar year due to the pandemic.
That decision was reversed on Sept. 24 when the Pac-12 secured rapid-response daily PCR testing in a partnership with the diagnostic testing corporation Quidel. Still, scheduling pre-conference gams has been a challenge, Fox said recently.
Fox is beginning his second season as the Bears head coach, and certainly this won’t make the rebuilding assignment any easier.
He inherited a program that had produced the worst back-to-back win totals in Cal history, with the 2017-18 and 2018-19 teams each posting just eight victories.
The Bears improved to 14-18 in Fox’s debut campaign and finished in a three-way tie for eighth place in the conference standings at 7-11. Cal beat rival Stanford in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament before the event was shut down due to COVID-19.
Cal returns three starters, including second-team All-Pac-12 selection Matt Bradley. But the Bears will continue to be young with nine freshmen or sophomores among their scholarship players.
Cal football coach Justin Wilcox reacts to the news of a positive test on the basketball team and discusses the ongoing efforts to minimize the impact of COVID-19:
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
Click the "follow" button in the top right corner to join the conversation on Cal Sports Report on SI. Access and comment on featured stories and start your own conversations and post external links on our community page