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Does LSU's Recent Spike in COVID Cases Within Their Football Team Foreshadow the College Football Season to Come?

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A return to on-campus workouts brought with it a spike in coronavirus, student-athletes are contracting the virus while attending social gatherings outside of their schools sanitized facility, and at least 30 of LSU's 115 football players have been isolated because they either tested positive for COVID-19 or were found to have had contact with those who did test positive.

LSUCountry Glen West joins SI's Madelyn Burke to discuss whether LSU's, and many other college football teams around the nation, spell disaster for the coming college football season.

Madelyn Burke: Joining me now is our LSU reporter, Glen West. And Glen, at this point, fortunately, no LSU athlete or staff member has required hospitalization and very few have experienced symptoms or effects beyond mild symptoms here, but what has been the quarantine protocol?

Grant Delpit, LSU Tigers, Cleveland Browns

Glen West: So, this has been something that LSU has prepared the last three months for. In fact, you know, when the SCC first started to allow players to return for voluntary workouts, they used LSU's model as the protocol, essentially. So what happens here is, you know, LSU obviously with the 30 kids that are quarantined, they'll spend the next 10 days in quarantine, and then three days after that, they will have to show symptom-free. They'll have to be symptom-free for three days after that before they can start returning to team activities. So, that's kind of the protocol right now for those quarantine kids. And again, it's something that LSU is prepared the last few months for as it pertains to, you know, their athletes potentially contracting the virus.

Madelyn Burke: Now, as the school has kind of gone above and beyond to make sure the facilities are clean and the athletes practice social distancing while working out and training. Obviously, college kids are college kids and they are going to socialize a bit. I mean, how can you kind of rein that in? And what does this say about the realistic possibility that we'll see a safe college football season this year?

Glen West: You'd hope that this would be a wakeup call for a lot of the players, at least on LSU's team. And, you know, obviously, a couple of days ago with Clemson, you know, they reported 20 cases of their athletes contracting the virus. In LSU's case, in particular, a handful of the athletes contracted the virus or are self-isolating right now because they were at local bars, Tigerland in particular, which is a popular string of local bars here in Baton Rouge. So, I think as it pertains to this season, we still have to wait and see. I think the fact that LSU has been on top of this and that they are really honing in on keeping these athletes and their roommates away from the rest of the players and coaches and everything like that. It shows that they're taking the right steps. But as far as what it means for the season, I think we still have to wait until some of these college kids start getting back to campus and are walking in class with a lot of these other football players.

Madelyn Burke: Sports Illustrated's LSU reporter Glenn West, thank you so much for the insight.