Indiana Football Resumes Practice After COVID-19 Scare

Aug 7, 2020

Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. prepares to pass during summer drills on August 6th, 2020.
Credit Steve Burns / WTIU/WFIU News

The Hoosier football team has returned to the field nearly a month after ceasing summer workouts.

Six players tested positive July 17 for coronavirus, forcing the coaching staff to pause voluntary workouts.

Head football coach Tom Allen told media members during a Zoom press conference that there will be limited physical contact during drills.

“Even today’s practice, there’s no tackling, no blocking, it’s close to that because you get your hands on people,” Allen said.

Allen is pleased with how players have adhered to social distancing guidelines inside the practice facility. He has told players they also must be disciplined outside the facility:

“You just flat out cannot hang out with, go to or be in environments where you are going to compromise, because we are counting on you,” Allen said, adding that players are under no obligation to play this season if they are concerned about catching the virus.

Per NCAA rules, IU will honor the scholarship of any athlete who opts out of the season because of COVID-19.

The Hooisers open the revised Big Ten conference schedule Sept. 4th against the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

The conference is moving ahead with football even without guarantees the season will be completed.

“To be totally honest with you, to be totally candid, I feel like we are day to day,” said IU Athletic Director Scott Dolson.

Preparations are underway for a limited number of fans to attend home games this season.

“We've been working on contingency plans for attendance really for months,” Dolson said.

The university is allowing season ticket holders to opt out of 2020 commitments if they don’t feel comfortable attending games.