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Owls Confident about Season, as Players Test Negative for COVID


With news of student-athletes around the country testing positive for coronavirus after returning to campus, FAU football coach Willie Taggart is feeling pretty good about his university’s plan to welcome back its players.

Nobody on the Owls’ football team has tested positive for COVID-19 through the first 2 1/2 weeks of being back on campus, according to a university spokesperson.

Returning players arrived on campus June 8 for voluntary on-campus athletic activities. The newbies, which include freshmen and transfers, joined them last Monday.

All players were required to submit a negative coronavirus test result before starting on-campus workouts.

“I think we all knew some people were going to test positive when they came back,” Taggart said. “It’s unfortunate for a lot of programs and I can really only speak for our program. I know we have a really good plan in place for our guys to come back.”

A part of the plan includes wearing masks, limiting the number of people in the weight room, daily temperature checks and student-athletes being required to submit a COVID-19 screening questionnaire before workouts.

Taggart has no plans to implement a team-wide curfew in order to prevent players from potentially being exposed or contracting the virus.

“It’s all about trust — trust that our players are going to the right thing when they’re away from here,” Taggart said about not having curfews. “And not just our players, but our coaches [too].”

He continued, A lot of education is going to come with that and constant reminders of doing the right things, wearing your masks when you’re out and about and trying to social distance. We’ve got to trust that we’re going to make the right decisions away from here.”

Additionally, Coach Taggart is not too concerned about the college football season potentially being cancelled, with the Owls’ first game of the season scheduled against Minnesota on Sept. 3.

The NCAA Division 1 Council approved a six-week football preseason program June 17 that would allow programs to start activities in early or mid-July.

“We’re all learning something new about this virus,” Taggart explained. “All I can do is control the things we can control and that’s just preparing as if there’s going to be a season until they tell us there’s not.”

Who’s ready for some football in paradise?