NCAA Football News and Notes: Houston Shuts Down Workouts

The wheels are starting to turn on the college football season amidst the ongoing pandemic. There are also a lot of players and coaches making noise in other ways. Let’s check out the latest.

Early Break

Not long after the Houston Cougars started voluntary workouts, things were brought to a swift halt. Six symptomatic Houston student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the school to shutdown voluntary workouts.

The Houston area, in general, is experiencing a recent spike in cases. Houston did not mandate COVID-19 testing for athletes returning to campus for summer workouts like other colleges have. The players who tested positive have been isolated with contract tracing procedures being used.

Not the Only Place

In addition to Houston, several other schools are reporting positive tests for players who have come to campus for summer workouts. At Clemson, two football players and one men’s basketball player tested positive for COVID-19, although that’s out of 128 players tested.

At Alabama, the positive tests are increasing almost daily after the Crimson Tide began voluntary workouts last Monday. At least eight players have tested positive, although most have been asymptomatic.

Finally, two Iowa football players are among the 10 student-athletes on that campus to test positive.

Leading the Way

Also at Clemson, several football players served as the organizers for a protest on Saturday that involved students marching against police brutality. According to local news outlets, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Darien Rencher, linebacker Mike Jones Jr., and wide receiver Cornell Powell organized the March.

This came after the university agreed to take the name of slavery supporter John C. Calhoun off its honors college amidst pressure from former Clemson players Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins.

Taking a Stand

Football players at Texas are also leading the way in a protest against the use of a song called “The Eyes of Texas,” which was written in 1903 and has racist undertones. Wide receiver Brennan Eagles started a social media campaign last month.

That campaign has started to grow into a larger group of Texas student-athletes. They are asking for several buildings on campus to be renamed and for statues on campus to be replaced by those created by artists of color.

Off-Field Injury

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner is in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a watercraft accident. The incident took place at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, and according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it involved a Sea-Doo colliding with a boat.

Koerner was at the Lake of the Ozarks with his father following the first week of voluntary workouts on campus. His injuries are described as “non-life-threatening.”

Already Gone

After transferring from Purdue to Florida State in January, linebacker Cornel Jones’ time with the Seminoles is already over. No reason has been given, but Jones has been removed from the Florida State roster online.

Jones started 12 games for Purdue in 2018 and was one of the team’s top tacklers before injuries limited him to six games. He was a graduate transfer who would have been eligible to play with Florida State in 2020.

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