TAMPA — A hearty portion of USF’s football team has returned to campus with an initial clean bill of health.
First-year coach Jeff Scott, whose team began on-campus voluntary workouts early Wednesday morning, confirmed that 80 of his players were tested for COVID-19 last week, and none tested positive.
A few others, however, are being held out as a precaution.
“We have some young men that are coming back from areas in Florida or Georgia that are kind of considered (coronavirus) hot-spot zones,” Scott told reporters late Wednesday morning outside the Selmon Athletics Center.
“So they have to quarantine for 14 days before they’re allowed to participate in the voluntary workouts. I would say of all the guys that are cleared and ready to go, I expect all of them to be here for Day One.”
Three months to the day after their first and only spring practice, the Bulls began their initial phase of voluntary workouts in groups of 10 on the Morsani Complex practice fields. One group did conditioning work on a field while another lifted weights beneath a sprawling white tent on the southern edge of the complex.
“Some of our players had access to be able to do some stuff (while campus was closed), and some other guys had to do whatever they could do out in their back yard,” Scott said.
"So for us, it’s not about going out and picking up right where we left off, it’s really about seeing where the guys are and kind of safely bringing them along to get everybody to a point where we can really get back to our full level of weightlifting and conditioning.”
Each player and staffer were required to wear a mask upon arriving at the complex, where their temperatures were taken. Because the workouts are voluntary, the staff wasn’t allowed to take roll.
Neither Scott nor his coaches are permitted to observe the workouts, though they have returned to their offices inside the Selmon Center on at least a part-time basis.
The defensive staff, recruiting staff and some support staff are permitted in the building on Mondays and Wednesdays, with the offensive staff on-site Tuesdays and Thursdays. Scott is there daily.
“We’ll get in the big team room to have a defensive staff meeting or offensive staff meeting, kind of everybody spread out," he said. "So it’s been nice just to be able to see your own coaches face to face. … But because it’s voluntary workouts, we’re not allowed to go down there and watch the guys at all.”
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first
UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits
LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.