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Iowa Basketball Pauses Workouts Following Positive Tests

The virus touches down in Carver

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

COVID 19 touched down in Carver-Hawkeye Arena as the program announced Tuesday two players from the men’s basketball team tested positive for the virus the day prior:

The University of Iowa Athletics Department announced today that the men’s basketball team has paused workouts for 14 days after two student-athletes tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, July 27.

Following the positive test result, protocol established by UI Athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures, is being followed to ensure the safety of all UI Athletics student-athletes and staff. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.

And that’s the entirety of the release, which is incredibly brief, even by Iowa’s standards.

The long-term implications are obvious if this becomes a trend in the college sporting landscape. Even one confirmed case among a team throws a wrench into that squad’s operations for at least two weeks. And that’s just logistics.

Short-term, the implication is massive for the Iowa program writ large: Luka Garza has five days to decide if he wants to forgo his senior season in exchange for the NBA. A virus in one locker room likely makes that decision a little easier. Iowa was already facing an uphill battle with Garza’s decision, even before the cases were confirmed among the team.

(All this is assuming Garza isn’t one of the two positive cases. He very well could be.)

On Twitter, Jordan Bohannon expressed skepticism about students returning to campus. Ohio State just announced its putting the kibosh on tailgating for the 2020 football season. Rob Manfred is trying to roll up the Marlins under the world’s largest oriental rug. These are facts.

There’s still a chance the NBA could push back its deadline, which would give Garza more time to decide. I think it’s a little naive for the NBA to adhere to a strict deadline In These Uncertain Times® but I also just found out pineapples don’t grow on trees, so what do I know?