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Monday, December 04, 2023

UF-LSU game officially postponed following COVID-19 outbreak

Gators in the huddle
Gators in the huddle

The UF-LSU game Saturday has officially been postponed. The postponement was first reported by The Athletic, and Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. The SEC confirmed as well. The game is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12.

All team activities have been paused indefinitely, Stricklin said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. 

Sources told The Alligator Tuesday that both practice and the team meeting Wednesday were canceled after the team found 19 positive tests.

Stricklin told the media that 18 scholarship players and three walk-ons tested positive for COVID-19. 

Between these positives, the number of quarantined athletes and injuries on the team — which include backup quarterback Emory Jones and offensive lineman Ethan White — the Gators have less than 50 scholarship athletes currently available. Stricklin said he was unaware as to how many people will be quarantined, citing ongoing contact tracing efforts. Everyone that tested positive was either asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, he said.

Stricklin mentioned that he received a call Monday morning from athletic trainer Paul Silvestri, saying players came to him Sunday experiencing symptoms. 

Stricklin also said the program’s traveling procedures would be examined for possible improvements to be made moving forward. The Gators have three remaining games outside of Gainesville this season — two on the road at Vanderbilt, which is dealing with its own COVID-19 breakout, and Tennessee as well as the annual neutral site game against Georgia in Jacksonville.

Two assistant coaches are included in this positive-tests number and were asymptomatic, coach Dan Mullen told media Wednesday after he apologized for last Saturday’s “pack The Swamp” comments following the loss to Texas A&M. He also said that the team would remain “on pause” until Wednesday’s results came back.

Stricklin said UF would be in contact with Missouri and the SEC regarding Florida’s Oct. 24 home game against Missouri.

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Payton Titus

Payton is a sophomore journalism major from Jacksonville, Florida. She is The Alligator's Spring 2021 digital managing editor. Her previous roles include softball beat writer, football beat writer and online sports editor.

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