FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Weeks before the college football season was scheduled to begin, Colorado State University has already shut down all Rams Football practices, workouts and meetings amid an outbreak of coronavirus. More than 5% of the team tested positive for the virus, so the university voluntarily shut down the program to combat the pandemic.
“It’s sad. Sports were just starting to come back both nationally and locally,” said Tim Cox, a college football fan.
Cox and his daughters, Julia and Samantha, were visiting the CSU campus in Fort Collins when they learned of the team’s issues with COVID-19. While they were disappointed to hear the virus was already impacting sporting, they all agreed the decision was necessary.
“I think it is a smart decision to shut down the program,” Julia told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Julia, and incoming sophomore, is considering transferring to CSU for the spring semester. She is currently enrolled at a college in northern California. However, amid the concerns with the virus, she was considering coming back to Colorado where she grew up to finish her studies.
“(College football is) certainly a big money maker for the university. But, hopefully people can see past that, and hopefully they are able to find a way around it without all their big sports,” Julia said.
Eight players on the CSU football team recently tested positive for the virus. CBS4 requested information on whether or not the athletes who tested positive were living together, or on campus. CSU’s athletic department refused to comment further on the matter. A spokesperson for the campus was not able to provide an answer at the time this article was written.
While pigskin under Saturday night lights is a tradition for many, the Cox family all agreed the university made the right decision to postpone football operations until the virus was addressed.
“Safety is the priority,” Samantha said. “With the college experience, education and classes are first, and then sports and social is what comes next.”
“It is the right move. Better safe than sorry. Life and safety is more important than football,” Cox said.
CSU said they were planning on hosting another round of COVID-19 testing in the coming weeks before the next step was decided.
“It is a bummer, but it will come back eventually,” Samantha said.