Oklahoma State says 3 athletes tested positive for coronavirus after returning to campus

Sam Cooper
·4 min read

Three Oklahoma State athletes tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return to campus this week.

After several reports surfaced Wednesday morning saying that multiple football players had tested positive, Oklahoma State senior associate athletic director Kevin Klintworth said that of the more than 150 people tested, three student-athletes tested positive. The specific sport those student-athletes play was not specified.

All three were asymptomatic and the school expected some positive tests, Klintworth said.

As a result of the positive tests, Oklahoma’s incoming freshmen were told not to report to campus, per 247Sports.com.

According to The Oklahoman, “several” Oklahoma State players returned to Stillwater on Monday and were tested for COVID-19 upon their entry to the school’s football facility.

Star linebacker reveals positive test

One OSU player, linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga, revealed Tuesday that he tested positive. He said the positive test came after he attended a protest in Tulsa. It’s not clear if Ogbongbemiga, one of the Cowboys’ top players, was included in the figure released by Klintworth on Wednesday.

Oklahoma State has a system in place for athletes to come back to campus. The school said its plan involves athletes returning in phases with a variety of testing and health checks in place before facility access is granted. Athletes will be monitored on a daily basis.

If an athlete tests positive, the school said the player will be quarantined, moved to separate housing the school has established for such occurrences and treated by campus health services.

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 04: Boone Pickens Stadium pre Bedlam 2017  a college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 4, 2017, at the Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, OK.  (Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Three Oklahoma State athletes tested positive for coronavirus. (Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Mike Gundy’s controversial coronavirus comments

Back in April, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was heavily criticized for his comments about the coronavirus and its impact on college football.

Gundy, after citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus, said he hoped players would be able to return to campus as soon as possible because they are healthy young men and should be able to fight off the virus. He specifically cited the money that Oklahoma State and its “amateur” football players bring into the state.

“In my opinion, if we have to bring our players back, test them, they’re in good shape, they’re all 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 years old, they’re healthy,” Gundy said. “A lot of them can fight it off with their natural body, their antibodies and buildup they have — and there’s some people that are asymptomatic. If that’s true, yeah we sequester them. And people say that’s crazy. No that’s not crazy. Because we need to continue to budget and run money through the state of Oklahoma.”

Soon after Gundy’s statements, Oklahoma State said it would “adhere to the advice of public health experts” and “not compromise the health and well-being of our campus community.”

A few days later, Gundy issued an apology.

“I have been made aware that comments from my press conference have offended some,” Gundy said in a statement. “It was never my intention to offend anyone and I apologize. My first priority is and will always be the student-athletes and doing what is best for the program and the university.”

Iowa State athletes quarantined

Elsewhere in the Big 12, Iowa State announced Wednesday that four athletes (from two different sports) are quarantined and waiting for results of COVID-19 tests. Those athletes were “in close contact with individuals outside of the athletics department who have been infected by the virus,” the school said.

Additionally, a part-time student worker tested positive. As a result, an athletic department staff member that worked closely with the student worker is in quarantine.

"The potential for infections and positive test results has always been very real for an organization like ours and we've been thorough and diligent in planning for such incidents," ISU athletic director Jamie Pollard said. "Our medical team has done a magnificent job in preparing protocols and procedures for countless scenarios related to the virus."

Earlier in the week, Marshall announced that two athletes and one staff member tested positive.

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