Oklahoma announced Wednesday that 14 football players tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the program's return to voluntary workouts on Wednesday. Two of the players have recovered and 12 cases are still active, according to the data released by the Sooners athletic department.
The program tested 111 players, meaning the team has a 12.6% positivity rate. Two of 72 staff members also tested positive for the coronavirus. Players who tested positive are being quarantined in an on-campus facility and being supplied with medical care, meals and academic services, according to guidelines released by the OU athletic department last week.
Programs around the country have announced players testing positive for COVID-19 as student-athletes have begun reporting back to campuses for voluntary workouts. The prevalence of the sickness among players returning to campuses has cast doubt on whether the season will start on time.
Some programs, including Oklahoma's Big 12 peer Kansas State, have suspended the return to voluntary workouts because of positive cases. For now, the Sooners appear poised to continue despite the figures released Wednesday. According to the school's guidelines, Stage 1 of its return to workouts will be limited to 10 players and "a small group of staff members."
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has struck a cautious tone in his public remarks about the return of college football amid the pandemic. The Big 12 allowed programs to begin voluntary workouts in mid-June, but the Sooners waited an additional two weeks. He also told Yahoo Sports the possibility of playing college football in the spring is becoming "more real," though it would not be his preference.