One Penn State player returned a false-positive test for COVID-19 before Saturday's game at Indiana and was unable to play, coach James Franklin said.
Franklin did not identify the player who returned the result Saturday morning. Big Ten players who return a positive antigen test on gamedays are not permitted to play.
They then must undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to confirm the positive result. If the result is confirmed, players must sit out at least 21 days from being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Franklin said understood the medical necessity of the Big Ten protocols. The coach also said he spoke with the player's father, who was "very upset" about the situation.
"[He was] more upset about his son, just hurting for his son," Franklin said. "And we talked it all through and he understood. It was probably more venting than it was being upset with what the Big Ten had really decided. It was more just his son's hurting, and, 'I want you to hear it, coach.'
"... The way I understood it, we were just putting health and welfare as the priority in a way that still gave us a chance to have a season and to try to balance those two topics. And neither one was going to be perfect, but try to balance it the best we possibly could."
Franklin revealed the false-positive result while answering a question about Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz, who reportedly tested positive a second time for COVID-19. Backup quarterback Chase Wolf also reportedly returned a positive antigen test.
"That's challenging, not just for players but for coaches as well," Franklin said. "... I think we were are a point as a conference that our commissioner and our presidents went above and beyond to keep the student-athletes as healthy as we possibly could. And with that, there were going to be some compromises, there were going to be some sacrifices and there were going to be some circumstances that came about that were hard to swallow at the moment."
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