MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Tigers head football coach Ryan Silverfield spoke Monday about the COVID-19 outbreak among players and staff.
Last week, the University of Memphis suspended all football activities because of the outbreak. Contact tracing continues and a “significant number” of people are in quarantine, according to the Tigers athletics department.
Silverfield shot down rumors of a party bus being responsible for the outbreak.
“We believe that there was no party bus,” he said. “The first we had heard of it in our program was from a media report.”
Silverfield said two players were picked up by an out-of-town family in an extended van used to transport the family and friends to the game.
No other details about the cases have been released, but the coach said any player with a positive COVID-19 test must undergo a full cardiac workup and be cleared by a team doctor before resuming activities.
Silverfield says the safety of the team and staff is top priority.
“We know that many teams throughout college football have dealt and are dealing with this,” said Silverfield. “I’m proud of the efforts by so many. Our guys have had to make great decisions and take precautions. This week we are keeping players outside the building. We will continue with Zoom meetings and later in the week do some conditioning.”
Silverfield said he is disappointed this Friday’s game against Houston is postponed.
The Tigers next game on the schedule is Friday, Sept. 25 against the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Our plan is to still play a great UTSA opponent. We are keeping our guys focused on everything they need to do from academics to health to our game plan. As with everything, we will weather this storm. As with everything we will weather this storm. We will come out even better with our program. Our young men are determined to have a successful season.”