The Morning Call

Ten­nessee AD iso­lat­ing for COVID

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Ten­nessee ath­letic di­rec­tor and for­mer Vol­un­teers foot­ball coach Phillip Ful­mer said Fri­day he is in iso­la­tion af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

Ful­mer, 70, posted on Twit­ter that he is “feel­ing fine” and was deemed not to have been in close con­tact with any Ten­nessee ath­letes or “sport-spe­cific staff mem­bers.” Ten­nessee plays at No. 23 Auburn on Satur­day. Ful­mer is a Col­lege Foot­ball Hall of Famer who coached the Vols for 17 years and won a na­tional cham­pi­onship 1998. He has been Ten­nessee’s AD since 2017.

This came as Univer­sity of Mi­ami foot­ball coach Manny Diaz be­came the lat­est ac­tive coach to an­nounce he has con­tracted the virus. Diaz made a sim­i­lar so­cial me­dia post ear­lier to an­nounce he tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 and is iso­lat­ing. Mi­ami is not sched­uled to play again un­til Dec. 5 at Wake For­est. The Hur­ri­canes this week were forced to post­pone games sched­uled for Satur­day and Nov. 28 be­cause of coro­n­avirus is­sues.

Diaz was the se­cond coach from a Power Five school to pub­licly ac­knowl­edge test­ing pos­i­tive this week, along with Mary­land’s Mike Lock­sley. Lock­sley’s team, like Diaz’s, had its Satur­day game called off be­cause of COVID-19 is­sues within the pro­gram. As of Fri­day af­ter­noon, 16 of the 62 games across ma­jor col­lege foot­ball had been post­poned or can­celed. That’s the most dis­rupted games in any week of this sea­son, one more than last week.

Among the other ac­tive coaches to have said they tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 are: Florida’s Dan Mullen, Florida State’s Mike Norvell, Pur­due’s Jeff Brohm, Ari­zona’s Kevin Sum­lin, Kansas’ Les Miles, and Troy’s Chip Lind­sey, who will not be with his team when the Tro­jans play Mid­dle Ten­nessee on Satur­day.

Alabama coach Nick Sa­ban also tested pos­i­tive, but did not miss a game af­ter that re­sult was later deemed false.

Washington State ath­letic di­rec­tor Pat Chun says the school has nine foot­ball play­ers in COVID-19 pro­to­cols and four play­ers had to be put into the pro­to­col Fri­day morn­ing lead­ing to the can­cel­la­tion of the Cougars’ game at Stan­ford. Chun said as of last week­end, the Cougars had zero play­ers in their COVID pro­to­cols and the first pos­i­tive test came early in the week. The four pos­i­tives Fri­day kept the Cougars from reach­ing the Pac-12 man­date of 53 schol­ar­ship play­ers avail­able.

Col­lege bas­ket­ball: The Bel­larmine men’s bas­ket­ball pro­gram has paused team ac­tiv­i­ties amid the pan­demic, de­lay­ing the school’s Di­vi­sion I de­but un­til Dec. 4 at No. 9 Duke. The Knights were sched­uled to open Wed­nes­day at Chat­tanooga and make their home de­but against Tran­syl­va­nia on Nov. 28 at Free­dom Hall, the for­mer long­time home of the crosstown Louisville Car­di­nals. Chat­tanooga will visit on Dec. 9 in a reshuf­fled sched­ule that de­lays Bel­larmine’s Dec. 1 meet­ing with Day­ton.

Golf: Robert Streb birdied his last two holes on the Plan­ta­tion course at Seal Is­land and matched his ca­reer low with a 9-un­der 63, giving him a two-shot lead over Camilo Vil­le­gas on Fri­day in the RSM Clas­sic.

NFL: Three Ben­gals as­sis­tant coaches will not be avail­able for Sun­day’s game at Washington due to COVID-19 pro­to­cols. The Ben­gals said wide re­ceivers coach Bob Bick­nell, se­condary/cor­ner­backs coach Steve Jack­son and se­condary/safeties coach Robert Liv­ingston will be un­able to at­tend the game. ... The Saints placed quar­ter­back Drew Brees on in­jured re­serve, mean­ing he’ll miss at least three games with rib in­juries. Brees was un­able to fin­ish Sun­day’s game af­ter a heavy hit on a sack at­tempt by 287-pound 49ers de­fen­sive tackle Ken­tavius Street, who was pe­nal­ized for rough­ing on the play. Street landed on the right side of Brees’ torso and Brees was di­ag­nosed Mon­day with rib frac­tures and a col­lapsed lung.

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