The LSU Tigers, the football team representing Louisiana State University, will kick off its season later this month. But the team that also goes by the name of the Fighting Tigers has already had a battle with COVID-19. The team’s coach, Ed Orgeron, has said that many of the team’s players have gotten the virus at some time or other during the preseason.
As the virus has spread virtually around the world, it has impacted everything in its path. This has included the realm of sports. Some professional sports leagues have canceled games and even seasons while others have taken countermeasures – such as playing without fans in attendance. College sports have not been spared either. Orgeron said that there were at least thirty cases reported in June, and additional cases were reported throughout the summer months.
“I think most, not all of our players, but most of our players have caught it,” Orgeron was cited as saying Tuesday via a teleconference. He added that he hopes that players who recover from the virus don’t catch it again and that he hopes no one has to miss any games.
The Fighting Tigers compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Football Bowl Subdivision and the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division. The team kicks off its season at home against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on September 26. During a news conference that took place Tuesday, Orgeron said that up to four of the 105 players on the team were currently unavailable because of COVID-19. But he added that the reigning national championship franchise was overall quite healthy.
“We feel like we’re very healthy,” Orgeron explained. “I do believe we have about three or four guys that have COVID now, and not a lot of guys in quarantine. I think that we’re probably better off than we’ve been all camp right now going into the season.” While confident that players who have the virus will recover, he says that it’s essential that everyone be careful so that players who have it don’t spread it to those who don’t.