Rutgers coach Greg Schiano confirmed that two players in the football program tested positive for the coronavirus. The news was first reported Sunday by Rutgers Sports Insider, NJ Advance Media’s subscription-based text messaging service.
Speaking with reporters on a Monday morning conference call, Schiano said there were three rounds of testing. The first was before the athletes returned to campus, and if they didn’t live in the area, it was done by mail.
On June 15 the entire team, coaching staff and everyone involved in the program was tested again. On Monday, there were the first follow-up tests.
“From those [earlier] tests we had two positives. One of the positives never made it to campus, he was told to stay at home,” Schiano said. “The other positive was negative on the first test and positive on the second, so due to that positive we had three people in our program quarantined plus the positive, so four people total.”
Schiano, who is beginning his second stint this season as head coach at Rutgers, said he has been spending a lot of his time consulting with medical officials.
“To say we have all the answers, I mean, that would be an arrogant statement,” he said. “We are trying to do our best with all the information that we have.”
Schiano says he felt strongly about reporting the positive tests.
“Several programs have reported and there are some programs that aren’t reporting,” he said. “I felt it was important that we reported our positives, for a lot of reasons, one to help everybody else. I think we are all in this together. We need to share information, we need to be very open about that.”
Schiano said he didn’t want to speculate on whether the season would start on time, be moved to the spring, or not be played at all.
“What I tell our team is this: Right now we are told we are going to have a season that opens the weekend of the fifth [of September] and we’re going to prepare for that date,” he said. “And if that day changes, then we’ll pivot and we will make another plan.”
Rutgers’ opener is at home against Monmouth.
Schiano said communicating with parents of the players is vital in these times.
“I think it is really important and especially being a parent of four, I know my interest level would be extremely high and I would want to know what all the details are,” he said.
Rutgers’ incoming freshmen (who didn’t enroll early) reported Monday and have been tested twice and will be quarantined until their second test clears, according to Schiano.