8 UC Berkeley student athletes involved in voluntary workout test positive for COVID-19

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Friday, July 17, 2020
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At UC Berkeley, 125 student athletes have come back to campus for voluntary workouts. Eight of those individuals have tested positive for coronavirus.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- There are big questions as to whether or not we will see college sports in the fall, and news out of the East Bay is not helping the case amid the coronavirus pandemic.

UC Berkeley confirmed Thursday that eight student athletes involved in voluntary workouts have tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Fraternity parties blamed for UC Berkeley COVID-19 outbreak

Stanford has already cancelled seasons for 11 sports.

Analysts and executives that we talked with are questionable on whether we'll actually see a college football season this year. Former Major League Baseball player Bip Roberts has some serious questions.

"Numbers have spiked quickly because there is no social distancing, so you talk about college football, how do you play football without contact? I've never seen it played like that."

Roberts says he wouldn't be surprised if the season was altogether canceled.

RELATED: Stanford University cutting 11 of its varsity sports programs, plus 20 staff positions

At UC Berkeley 125 student athletes have come back to campus for voluntary workouts. Eight of those individuals have tested positive for coronavirus.

While it's unclear what sports they were involved in, even alumni are questioning the safety of any sports season.

"The numbers are still up and so I think it would be a bad idea to sacrifice the safety of the athletes," says Ham Huang, who recently graduated from UC Berkeley.

Tom Duryea graduated as a Golden Bear and agrees, "I'm a big sports guy, I would like to see it, but at the same time I think you have to make sure that these athletes are safe the people that possibly attend are going to be safe."

RELATED: Going to UC Berkeley in the fall? Here's what you need to know amid COVID-19

A Berkeley Public Health order allows small groups of 12 to weight train outdoors.

Thursday, weights could be seen on the side of the practice football field at UC Berkeley.

While seeing and hearing about that may give you hope, Roberts says there is a difference between a sport like football and others.

"There is no social distance," he said. "You're gonna have the virus all of a sudden spread around the team and there is really nothing you can do about it except not play."

We talked with a former sports executive who said he sees the biggest challenges for college sports when it comes to restarting because these aren't professionals, these are student athletes.

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