Local college notebook: UD has 36 positive cases in athletics

A UD football player works out with a mask on during a recent team practice session on campus. Delaware sports information photo

NEWARK — Most college athletic programs aren’t playing sports this fall.

But people are still keeping statistics.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases among student-athletes on campuses — whether programs are just working out or actually competing — are becoming regular news.

The University of Delaware isn’t immune to the situation, either.

On Tuesday, UD announced that 36 student-athletes have tested positive for the virus among the 600 who returned to campus over the past two weeks.

The Blue Hens aren’t competing in any sports this fall but are conducting team workouts in hopes of being able to resume play this winter.

According to a press release, “affected student-athletes will be monitored daily until they are cleared by University medical professionals.”

College athletic programs around the country have been affected by positive test results during the coronavirus pandemic. Some colleges have had to postpone football games while others have temporarily stopped workouts.

Texas Tech has had 75 football players test positive since June while Penn State recently paused workouts for a few teams after 48 positive cases were determined among student-athletes.

Delaware, in its press release, said its student-athletes have been following public health protocols such as wearing masks, social distancing and completing daily questionnaires.

A sampling of 25 percent of the total student-athlete population, as well as coaches and administrators, are selected to test every Monday and Wednesday. Anyone who displays symptoms or tests positive will immediately be placed in quarantine and contact tracing will begin by school medical personnel.

The University of Delaware will continue to provide daily number updates through its COVID-19 Data Dashboard, which is located at udel.edu/home/coronavirus/dashboard/.

FCS playoff decision today

The NCAA is expected to vote today on whether there will be national playoffs in FCS Division I football this spring.
Both Delaware and Delaware State play in the FCS division.

The current proposal is for a smaller, 16-team bracket with the national title game slated for May 15 in Frisco, Tex. The 10 conference champions would still earn automatic berths but there would be only six at-large berths instead of 14.

“I think it’s fully supported,” said Patty Viverito, commissioner of both the Missouri Valley and Pioneer League.

If health conditions permit, the spring college football season would begin in late February. All FCS conferences postponed their fall seasons although some teams are playing as independents.

DSU extends Atkinson

Delaware State has given volleyball coach Dr. Bruce Atkinson a three-year extension on his contract.

The Hornets’ 12 wins in 2019 (12-18) were the most by the program since posting an 18-12 mark in 2010. DelState had just 12 wins combined in the six seasons prior to arrival.

The Hornets’ seven MEAC wins last season were also the most by the team since tallying eight (8-2) in 2010.

“Bruce is a veteran coach with a proven record of success on and off the court,” said DelState athletic director Scott Gines. “He has quickly set our volleyball program on a course to become highly competitive. Our current volleyball team is still relatively young, so it’s important that we provide stability in the program to give our student-athletes the best environment to grow and succeed.”

Atkinson’s 12-year career as a college head coach is highlighted by a 229-134 overall record (.631 win percentage), multiple conference championships, five Coach-of-the-Year awards and six 20-win seasons.

Hornet women hire ex-player

Former Delaware State women’s basketball player Lanayjha Ashe has been hired an assistant coach on Dave Caputo’s staff.

Ashe lettered the past four seasons at DSU (2016-20), tallying 1,118 points, 272 assists and 127 three-point field goals. She ranks second on the Hornets’ all-time three-point field goal list, fourth in assists and 12th in scoring.

Ashe became the 17th player in team history to reach the career 1,000-point mark.

“Lanayjha was a hard-working, tough and smart player who knows our system and can help teach the newcomers the important lessons she learned in the program,” said Caputo.