Due to recent positive tests, and to ensure the health and safety of the campus community, Texas Wesleyan has announced a one-week delay to the start of the 2020 fall football season to allow student-athletes and coaches to complete their 14-day quarantines per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
Three football student-athletes and one assistant coach recently tested positive for COVID-19. An additional 24 football student-athletes and one coach are currently in quarantine because of their close contact with those who tested positive. As with any positive test, Texas Wesleyan carried out its contact tracing protocols.
“The health of our campus community, including our students, faculty, staff and fans, as well as our on-field opponents, is our top priority. I am confident that this delay is the right decision for everyone involved, and we look forward to taking the field when it is safe to do so,” said Texas Wesleyan University President Frederick G. Slabach.
The delay pushes back the scheduled game between Texas Wesleyan and Southwestern Assemblies of God at Farrington Field from Saturday, Oct. 17 to Saturday, Oct. 24, when both institutions share an open date on their football schedules. An exact time will be announced.
“Unfortunately, the postponement and cancellation of games is the new reality in athletics. We've seen it in NCAA Division I football and even at the professional level. It's an adjustment many across the country are dealing with. We will always put the safety and well-being of our student-athletes and staff at the forefront of our decision-making. Our coaches and athletes have done an unbelievable job in adhering to the protocols we have in place and we want to ensure that we continue to provide the safest environment possible for our entire campus community,” said Texas Wesleyan Athletic Director Ricky Dotson.
“We, as a program, are focused on a safe return to the field in everything that we do. It’s a very trying time for all of us—coaches, players and trainers—as we navigate the ever-changing landscape of the COVID pandemic. It’s a balancing act of getting physically ready for a football season and following strict protocols to protect all of us. Football is very community oriented and spending time together in practices, meetings, team events and games is the bulk of what we normally do. The safety protocols are in direct contrast with our culture because of the isolation and distancing and these elements have been the hardest part of this season. It takes faith, mental toughness, sacrifice and optimism for that first game to get through every day and week in hopes when we can all truly be together again. We are depending on each other more than ever to be disciplined in social distancing, masking and other safe practices. That first game will be a victory before it’s ever played, because of the fact it will have been played,” said Head Football Coach Joe Prud’homme.