Indiana Reports Zero Positive COVID-19 Test Among First Wave of Returning Athletes

Tom Brew

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana has tested 187 athletes, coaches and staff members for COVID-19 since players started to return to campus on June 9, and not a single player has tested positive thus far.

That's encouraging news, because that hasn't been the case at many other colleges so far this month since the NCAA allowed players to return to campus starting on June 1, with some programs reporting a dozen positive results, or more. Zero is a fantastic number for Indiana. 

Indiana has been very proactive with its student-athletes ever since the pandemic forced the cancellation of spring football practice in mid-March and cancelled both the men's and women's basketball seasons just as postseason play was starting. Even away from campus, Indiana coaches and administrators have talked often with athletes about being safe and staying healthy

Sixty-eight football players returned to campus in the first wave, and all of them were tested prior to being allowed to be involved in any voluntary workouts or even setting foot inside any facilities. A second wave of football players arrived last weekend, and men's and women's basketball players have returned as well.

IU Athletics established a medical advisory group on March 10 to provide advice to the department. This group includes Dr. Andy Hipskind, Indiana's Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Larry Rink, the  IU team physician who is also a member of the Big Ten Emerging Infectious Disease Task Force; and Dr. Tom Hrismalos, a specialist in infectious disease. They helped establish the protocols that have been followed since the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams returned to campus. 

Since arriving back in Bloomington, each student-athlete must complete a daily medical check and agree to abide by a series of CDC guidelines to complete the reintegration process and be cleared to participate in voluntary workouts. All coaches and staff participating in team activities follow the same protocols as well. 

Indiana's perfect marks are drastically different from what's been going on at other schools. LSU, for instance, has had as many as 30 LSU players had been quarantined due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. 

Florida has 11 players test positive, according to a Sports Illustrated report.