Iowa Football Interrupts Training Against COVID-19 Outbreak Before Music City Bowl

Chad Leistikow

| Hawk Central

The University of Iowa’s football program stopped training before Dec. 30 at the TransPerfect Music City Bowl after six coaches and several players tested positive for COVID-19, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Des Moines Register.

Hawkeye will suspend the team’s activities until Friday, the source said. But as of Monday night, they kept going, as if they could participate in the Nashville bowl game against Missouri.

On Monday evening at 19:15, the University confirmed the report of the Register.

“Last week we saw an increase in the number of positive cases in our football program. Our student-athletes returned to testing (Monday) and based on additional positive tests and follow-up, our medical team decided to discontinue in-person activities for a minimum of five days, “said Iowa athletic director Gary Barta in the University statement. “We will continue to follow the Big Ten Conference medical protocol and participate in rapid daily antigen testing. Based on the information we have available (Monday), we are confident in our ability to participate in the TransPerfect Music City bowl. ”

As was already known, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was among the coaches who tested positive for coronavirus. Ferentz reported on Sunday that he felt “lucky” not to have symptoms beyond an annoying cough. Ferentz, 65, could be allowed to return to the Iowa football facility as early as Sunday – after a mandatory 10-day isolation period, according to the protocol of the Big Ten coaching conference, as long as he was without symptoms for 24 hours.

If other coaches are in a similar boat, they could return and scratch a few practices together before the Music City Bowl. The team planned to fly to Nashville on Dec. 29, as opposed to the usual six- or seven-day arrival in advance for a bowl game. A vote by the management group on Monday night confirmed the players’ hope to participate in the game.

Ferentz said in a statement from the University that it is moving forward as if it were a game.

“In the late afternoon (Monday) I met with our leadership group of players and they desperately want to play in the bowl game. We will continue to prepare and put together our game plan for the TransPerfect Music City Bowl using the technology we have at our disposal, “Ferentz said. While our first priority is the health and safety of our players and staff, our goal is to play and compete on December 30th. “

Earlier Monday, Barta told members of the media in a Zoom call that “anyone who is available to walk on the 29th will be there in person. And we’ll get ready to play a good Missouri team. “

The Hawkeyes finished 6-2 in the regular season shortened by the pandemic and ranked 15th in the latest college football rankings. They haven’t trained since Tuesday, when the Week 9 game against Michigan was canceled due to Wolverines’ COVID-19 problems. The Iowa players received the rest of the week off from Ferentz and returned to the team on Monday.