Michigan State football team quarantines after positive tests

The Spartans' preseason workouts are now on hold amid coronavirus fears.
Indiana v Michigan State
Michigan State Spartans mascot Sparty carries the school flag during a game last year at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.Joe Robbins / Getty Images file

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By David K. Li

Michigan State University ordered all its football players into quarantine after an athlete and two staffers in the program tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Friday.

The school did not identify the athlete nor the football staff members who tested positive.

"Based on early results from COVID-19 testing conducted over the last week on football staff and student-athletes, which included a second staff member and one student-athlete testing positive on Thursday, all members of the football team will quarantine or isolate, while awaiting completion of a 14-day quarantine," MSU said in a statement.

"As part of the athletic department's return to campus policy, student-athletes quarantine when coming into close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19."

The school did not disclose exactly how many athletes are now under quarantine, but an athletic department spokesman said it'd be a "majority" of the squad that had returned to campus.

A football team in the NCAA's top-flight football bowl subdivision includes 85 players on scholarship.

The quarantine abruptly stopped the Spartans preseason workouts and meetings, which could be up to 20 hours a week under NCAA rules, for a 2020 season that's in great doubt of even happening.

The Big Ten Conference announced earlier this month it would not play non-league contests this season, assuming there's a fall slate of games at all. The pandemic forced the Pacific-12 Conference to take similar action.

It also led to the shuttering of virtually all high-level sports around the world in mid-March, including the NCAA's wildly popular and profitable annual basketball tournament.