Riley says OU won’t share COVID-19 test results

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Oklahoma test results for COVID-19 will no longer be shared publicly, with the Sooners set to begin the regular season this week, coach Lincoln Riley announced Tuesday.

“I think we’re to the point now where we’re playing games and obviously any active case or contact trace is going to have game repercussions,” Riley said. “So, just like we would with an injury, we made the decision to not broadcast that. I know we’ve been probably the most transparent school in the country up until then, but you don’t want to give your team a competitive disadvantage, so we’re not going to do that.”

The most recent testing data the school released came from Aug. 17-21, when Oklahoma said there were 17 active cases among football players, along with six new positive tests. Oklahoma began publicizing test results in early July.

Riley said he would be surprised if positive test results force Oklahoma to postpone or cancel the Sooners’ regular-season opener against Missouri State on Saturday. The state’s two other FBS football teams, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, announced Monday their scheduled opener will be pushed back a week to Sept. 19, because COVID-19 protocols allowed Tulsa to practice only seven times since Aug. 7.

“I’d be surprised but, at the same time, we’re all one big test away from having to make tough decisions,” Riley said, “and that’s every team, every single week. So I don’t ever want to say impossible, but I fully expect to be playing out there at 6 o’clock on Saturday.”

Oklahoma tests its players three times a week — Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Riley was unsure if there was a defined day and time when decisions will be made about potential postponements during the season, but indicated the rapid test results on Fridays will likely inform those decisions.

In the ACC, coaches have agreed to let each other know on game day who is available to play without specifying the reasons players are out, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday.

Asked about the overall health of his team headed into the season opener on Saturday against Wake Forest, Swinney said Clemson also will not disclose specific testing numbers, a policy they have in place to protect player identities.

“It’s a very unique year and usually I’m always very transparent when it comes to who’s available and who’s not,” Swinney said. “There will definitely be some guys not available every week for every team and it can change. We’ll have a few guys that I’m sure will not be able to play for whatever reason, whether it’s some type of short-term type injury thing or COVID protocols, whether they’ve had it or quarantine or whatever it may be and that will probably be the case from week to week and almost day to day. What everybody has decided to do is game day, here’s who’s available and here’s who’s not, and let’s go play.”

The Clemson athletic department has released overall testing numbers without laying out the specific teams impacted during recent updates. Swinney said “a couple guys” tested positive last week, but none during the latest round of testing on Monday.

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson contributed to this report.

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