BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 and contact tracing within football programs across the nation, 15 college football games have either been postponed or cancelled this week including Auburn, Alabama, and UAB.
UAB head coach Bill Clark says they don’t have a COVID-19 outbreak by any means. but it’s contact tracing that’s really impacted their team and teams across the nation.
If there’s one thing Clark wishes he could change this season, it would be the contact tracing guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
“It’s frustrating, for us we’ve asked why is this something we can’t revisit?” he said.
Contact tracing is decided by local health guidelines and not through the conference. On Saturday, the Blazers had another player test positive for COVID-19 for a total of four, but you can double that for the number of players out due to contact tracing.
“It’s a guy that tested positive that’s not playing right now, but his roommate is,” said Clark. “It’s ten days if you have COVID and then 14 for those who come in close contact with someone who has it. We’ve tested all our players who are out because of contact tracing and they’re all negative."
UAB has now cancelled two games, this weekend against North Texas and next weekend at UTEP, due to contact tracing that wiped out the Blazers secondary.
“That’s why I stay at the edge of my seat every day worried about what if it hits this group. It’s not like we’ve had much COVID, but literally the contact tracing has wiped out an entire position group,” said Clark.
Clark, along with several coaches in the SEC like Alabama’s Nick Saban, agree that contact tracing guidelines should be revisited.
“We knew the rules when we started, but it’s just one of the things we would love to see is how many negative tests do you have to have to get out of that because there’s no way to get out of it (quarantine for players based off contact tracing)," said Clark.
UAB will test again Sunday and will start preparing for Southern Miss that’s on November 27th, which will be the Blazers last home game at Legion Field before moving to Protective Stadium downtown.