Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Saturday, July 24, 2021 — Houston, TX 77°

Start of football practices delayed

football-courtsy-naria-lysander
Photo courtesy of Naria Lysander

By Ben Baker-Katz     9/6/20 6:24pm

Rice football announced that they would delay the start of their preseason practices in a press release today, due to concerns regarding the infection rate of the coronavirus in Houston. 

“Our top priority is the safety of our community,” Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard said in a statement. “The very low rates of infection among our campus community are the result of a communal effort and one that requires continued vigilance and dedication. At the same time, we will continue to explore options to allow a football season to happen in 2020.”

School officials have said that more rapid and reliable testing may become available in the near future, and they will work the Conference USA on any necessary schedule adjustments.



“As much as our team wants to get on the field and start their season, we all understand the larger issues involved,” head coach Mike Bloomgren said.

Bloomgren and his players have all expressed that while they are thankful for the care with which Rice is treating the situation, they are also ready to get back on the field.

“I'm thankful to be a part of a university that prioritizes the health and well-being of the campus as well as its student-athletes, while still giving us the chance to move forward and play the game we love and to compete for a conference title," senior and team captain Austin Trammell said. 

The Owls were scheduled to start their season on Oct. 3 in West Virginia against Marshall University. Whether or not that happens, is now up to C-USA. According to Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations Chuck Pool, there is no definitive answer on when the season will start.

“Conference USA will take a look at the situation, and it will be up to them whether or not the impacted game(s) are rescheduled or canceled,” Pool said.

For now, the school is investigating new rapid testing capabilities, as well as other measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic in a competitive athletic setting. A final decision on the start of practice will be made later in September.

“Mitigating the virus on our campus has been and will remain priority one,” Bloomgren said. “But there is also a commitment to trying to create a consistent scenario for football to be played this fall.”



More from The Rice Thresher

SPORTS 7/10/21 3:23pm
Three Owls compete at track Olympic trials

Three members of the Rice women’s track & field team participated in various Olympic trials during the last two weeks of June. While none of them qualified for Tokyo, sophomore thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan and graduate jumper Michelle Fokam narrowly missed the cut. 

SPORTS 6/22/21 8:39pm
Owls legend Jose Cruz Jr. named head baseball coach

Last week, Rice announced that Jose Cruz Jr. will be its next head baseball coach, the 22nd in program history. A three-time All American at Rice from 1992-95, Cruz will be replacing Matt Bragga, who was relieved of his duties at the end of this past season. 

SPORTS 6/19/21 2:59pm
Fokam, Simpson-Sullivan and Forbes excel at NCAA Championships

Rice Women’s Track and Field saw three athletes finish in the top ten of their respective events at the NCAA Championships, held earlier this month in Eugene, Oregon. Senior long jumper Michelle Fokam, freshman thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, and freshman distance runner Grace Forbes put together the best performance from women’s track and field at a national competition in 20 years.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.