This past week has been a rollercoaster ride for the USC Trojans. On November 24th, Clay Helton informed the media of one positive COVID-19 test within their football program. USC Athletics released a statement saying,
"We were informed last night that a single football player tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Nov 23. That individual had traveled with us to Utah for Saturday's football game, and he had tested negative three times within 36 hours of travel and again on game day. All other test results on Monday were negative, and the individual was not present in the facilities or at practice on Sunday or Monday. The individual is symptomatic and has been quarantined. USC Student Health, Utah Athletics and the Pac-12 have been notified, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will be notified today. When more information is available, including additional test results, contact tracing and public health guidance, we will provide it."
Unfortunately, this was just the beginning. USC released another follow up statement on November 25th, stating,
"One additional player has since tested positive and is in isolation, but he is asymptomatic. Five other players have been quarantined after being identified through the contact tracing process. "
Although Clay Helton remained optimistic, the fate of the USC vs. Colorado game was sealed come Thursday. On Thanksgiving, USC and the Pac-12 released a statement, as the Trojans withdrew from the scheduled matchup against the Buff's.
Per the Pac-12,
"After consultation with USC, the Pac-12 Conference announced the game involving Colorado at USC scheduled for Saturday, November 28 will not be played. This decision was made under the Pac-12’s football policy due to USC not having the minimum number of scholarship players available for the game at a specific position group as a result of a number of positive football student-athlete COVID-19 cases and resulting isolation of additional football student-athletes under contact tracing protocols. Under Conference policy, the game will be declared a no contest."
As of today, December 1st, USC has 11 players in quarentine. The Washington State vs. USC game was moved from Friday, December 4th to Sunday, December 6th. This date change was set in place to provide an adequate amount of time for players on both teams to make a return after quarantining.
Clay Helton did not provide the names of any players who are in quarentine due to Hipaa Laws, but did confirm that starters were effected. Per the Pac-12 statement, it was also confirmed the outbreak occurred within a "position group". There has been some speculation that the effected position group is USC's offensive line, however this has not been confirmed by USC Athletics or Clay Helton.
As of Monday, December 1st, USC will resume with some training this afternoon. The Trojans will not participate in full contact physical practice, but strength and conditioning and light field work. Despite, players within USC's football program contracting COVID-19, Clay Helton reported today, that no coaches on his staff have been affected by the virus.
USC has been off 7 of the last 9 days for on field engagement and drill work. Based on today and tomorrow's testing Helton reported that the Trojans plan to, "start practice at full pad engagement tomorrow."
"We are really excited and the kids are really excited about having the opportunity to get started again and go 1-0 against a good Washington State team." (Helton)
TO WATCH: Clay Helton's Full Statement Click The Video Above