Iona coach Rick Pitino said Tuesday that he recently tested positive for COVID-19 and has subsequently recovered after a stint in quarantine. Pitino revealed the news on a conference call with reporters, divulging that he contracted the disease after getting his first of two COVID-19 vaccinations but before he was able to get his second.
Pitino is one of a handful of individuals in his Gaels program to have been affected by COVID-19. They have not played a game in more than a month as part of a COVID-related shutdown -- its third this season -- and a total of nine players, two coaches and two managers have tested positive since Jan. 4, according to The Journal News.
"We don't have enough guys to run a practice," Pitino said. "We've had a few other positives and some of our players are symptomatic for the first time."
The Hall of Fame coach spent his quarantine recovering in an on-campus apartment away from his team and from his family. Iona is expected to resume team activities next week, but its season has already been filled with fits and starts despite no students being on campus. Now, with students returning to campus, the prospect of finishing the season is even more daunting for Pitino.
"The only way for us to get through this unscathed is for every single member of the basketball team to catch it, which is not the case," Pitino said. "I don't have a lot of positive thoughts going forward."