Multiple Vanderbilt football and soccer players test positive for COVID-19

Vanderbilt football had a "small number" of positive tests on Wednesday, but plans to continue practicing. Multiple members of Vanderbilt's soccer team also tested positive.

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Brent Szklaruk

Vanderbilt field. (Hustler Multimedia/Photographer Unknown)

Simon Gibbs, Sports Editor

Last updated Sept. 3 at 9:30 a.m. CT to include information on Vanderbilt football’s practice schedule.

Multiple Vanderbilt football and soccer players have tested positive for COVID-19, Vanderbilt athletics confirmed to The Hustler on Wednesday. The number of positive COVID-19 tests is still unknown.

This marks Vanderbilt football’s second round of positive COVID-19 tests since returning to campus. On Aug. 20, the football team had an unspecified number of positive COVID-19 tests, leading Vanderbilt to pause all football-related activities and moved an unspecified number of players into isolation housing on Aug. 21. The team missed five days before resuming football activities on Aug. 26.

This time, the football team will not pause activities. Instead, The Tennessean reported that the Commodores will move forward with a small adjustment: rather than practice on Wednesday and have a scheduled off-day on Thursday, Vanderbilt simply moved the off-day to Wednesday.

A Vanderbilt spokesperson provided the following statement to The Hustler on Wednesday at 11:33 a.m. CT regarding positive tests:

“We have been made aware of a small number of positive COVID-19 test results within our football and soccer programs. The results were determined through our ongoing testing procedures, which are among a number of prevention protocols we have in place to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes and our larger community.

The student-athletes that tested positive for COVID-19 have been placed in isolation per the university’s protocols. Everyone is working closely with our Public Health Command Center and other health officials to identify close contacts and ensure that they are not interacting with others on campus or in the Nashville community.

We will continue to follow our safety guidelines and implement additional measures as necessary during the programs’ activities.”

Head football coach Derek Mason was previously scheduled to address the media at 10:30 a.m. CT. Vanderbilt athletics sent an email to credentialed media at 9:09 a.m. CT stating that the press conference had been postponed, but it has not confirmed that football’s Wednesday morning practice was cancelled.

On Sept. 1, Mason alluded to the fact that two of the players recently released from isolation housing were transfer quarterbacks Jeremy Moussa and Danny Clark. At least five players have decided to opt out of the 2020 football season, including placekicker Oren Milstein, Michigan transfer Stephen Spanellis, and offensive linemen Cole Clemens, Jonathan Stewart and Bryce Bailey. Linebacker Dimitri Moore, on the other hand, decided to opt back in on Aug. 25 after previously deciding to sit out of the 2020 season.

The Southeastern Conference announced on Aug. 27 that the soccer season would consist of an eight game, conference-only season.

Vanderbilt football is scheduled to open the season on Sept. 26 in College Station, where they will face the 13th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Vanderbilt soccer has not yet received its first matchup, but the SEC stated that the season will start the week of Sept. 18.