La Tech outbreak postpones opener vs. Baylor

NCAAF

The Louisiana TechBaylor season opener, set for Saturday in Waco, Texas, has been postponed because of a recent increase in positive COVID-19 tests at Louisiana Tech.

No makeup date has been set. Both teams will continue to monitor dates later in the season. Louisiana Tech saw a rise in positive tests once players returned to campus after going home while Hurricane Laura moved through the region.

“We are obviously very disappointed that we will not be able to open the season this weekend at Baylor,” Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland said in a statement. “However, with the number of recent positive COVID-19 results and contact tracing, it is simply not possible. We would be putting our student-athletes at risk.”

McClelland said Louisiana Tech had only one positive COVID-19 test in the three weeks before the hurricane.

“It is obvious that the impact of Hurricane Laura in our community a few weeks ago really sparked our significant increase in numbers,” McClelland said. “With 95 percent of our city losing power for days — even up to a week in many areas — our student-athletes were forced to find places to stay, and some even had family from south Louisiana that came northward to stay with them. So many things that we were able to control for the month of August became out of our control, and I think the numbers prove that it took its toll.”

Baylor is the second Big 12 team to have its non-league opener postponed, as Oklahoma State’s meeting with Tulsa was pushed back because of COVID-19 issues at Tulsa. The Bears are now set to open their season Sept. 26 against Kansas at home. Louisiana Tech’s next scheduled game is Sept. 19 at Southern Miss.

TCU announced Friday that its season-opening football game against SMU will not be played as planned on Sept. 11 because of positive coronavirus tests among its players and support staff.

On Tuesday, Temple‘s season opener at Navy was moved from Sept. 26 to Oct. 10 because COVID-19 restrictions in the city of Philadelphia have limited the Owls from properly preparing to play a game, coach Rod Carey said.

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