TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you missed the “Welcome Home” banners hanging from the goalposts on the football practice fields at the University of South Florida, you are not alone. The players stepped onto those fields on Wednesday morning but they did it, essentially, in isolation.
The coaches, in an effort to follow the guidelines for these voluntary workouts, cannot be with them.
Members of the media, who are typically clustered together behind one of the end zones, are not allowed to be there either.
Bulls head coach Jeff Scott confirmed about 80 players are on campus for these workouts and said every one of them has been tested for the coronavirus.
“I am very happy to report zero of the 80 came back and tested positive,” said Scott. “We have some young men who are coming back from areas in Florida or in Georgia that are considered the hot spot zones, so they have to quarantine for 14 days before they are allowed to participate in the voluntary workouts. So of all of the guys who are cleared and ready to go, I expect all of them to be here.”
The workouts are scheduled in shifts with the groups consisting of 10 players or less. The players are able to do conditioning drills on the field with plenty of space between them. They are also working on their strength in a makeshift weight room, which has been built under a large tent. When they are there, they are required to wear masks.
“We have two big level goals,” said Scott. “The first is to keep all of our student-athletes and staff and coaches and everybody around safe and healthy and the second goal is to find a way to play college football this fall.”
The coaches are allowed to enter the facility for meetings but, at this point in time, they are still conducting virtual meetings with their players.
These voluntary workouts are expected to extend into July.