Syracuse, N.Y. ― Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Boeheim issued a statement on Twitter Sunday evening that he tested positive for the virus during the Syracuse basketball team’s most recent round of testing. The team’s coaches and players are currently being tested multiple times a week.
In the statement, Boeheim said that he is currently isolating at home.
“I am not experiencing any symptoms at this time, and will continue to monitor my health closely as advised by the medical staff,” he said in the statement.
Boeheim will turn 76 years old on Tuesday. He is about to enter his 45th season as the head coach at his alma mater.
In a text message, Boeheim said, “Feel great!”
Minutes after Boeheim issued his statement on Twitter, Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack announced that another member of the SU basketball program also tested positive.
“Per our COVID safety protocols, following Coach’s positive test we conducted an additional round of testing for all members of the basketball program,” Wildhack said. “From that testing we learned that one other member of the program has tested positive.”
Wildhack said that the basketball team will pause all activities.
“We are following all CDC guidelines and ACC protocols, and working closely with the Onondaga County Department of Health, to mitigate further transmission of the virus,” Wildhack said. “All members of the basketball program will be tested again, multiple times, over the next week.”
These are the first known positive tests within the Syracuse basketball program since the team’s players returned to campus in July.
Syracuse is scheduled to open the season on Friday, Nov. 27, with a home game against Bryant. Depending on when Boeheim last tested negative, he might still be in quarantine, forcing him to miss the Orange’s season-opener.
Just this past Thursday, Boeheim spoke with reporters via a Zoom call about the measures being taken to protect the Syracuse coaches and players.
The SU players, coaches and managers for the past couple weeks are wearing wristwatch-like devices that measure the proximity of players to each other and to staff. Those devices emit a color-coded beeping sound that alerts the wearer to how close he is to somebody else and issues a warning when wearers get too close (presumably within six feet).
The idea behind the wearables is to chart how much contact players, coaches and staff have with each other during a practice and to establish contact tracing records that could potentially avoid every player, coach or staff member from quarantining because of one positive test.
“What we’re trying to do is keep them spaced out at practice and to try to, for example with me, I’m in front of a player for just two minutes,” Boeheim said. “So, if something happened and I tested positive, I’m not near the players the whole practice.”
Those measures might be enough to keep Syracuse from having to postpone the game against Bryant.
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