Tennessee Basketball Reports Positive COVID-19 Test

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    The University of Tennessee welcomed back student-athletes to campus for summer workouts earlier this month amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. It was the first time student-athletes have been allowed on campus since spring practices and spring sports were canceled back in March. On Thursday, Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a virtual press conference that none of UT’s football players had tested positive for COVID-19, but a graduate assistant had and has been isolating.

    It looks like Tennessee’s men’s basketball program isn’t as lucky.

    Tennessee announced on Friday afternoon that one male student-athlete in the basketball program has tested positive for the coronavirus. The name of the athlete was not given for medical privacy.

    “After testing several domestic members of our men’s and women’s basketball teams, one male student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19,” Tennessee sports information director Tom Satkowiak said. “With a plan already in place, our Sports Medicine staff immediately activated isolation and contact-tracing protocol in collaboration with the Knox County Health Department.

    “We are encouraged by this affirmation that our procedures work.”

    All but two of Tennessee’s men’s basketball players are back on campus for the summer. The only two players currently not in Knoxville are two of the Vols’ international players: Uros Plavsic and Santiago Vescovi.

    Plavsic was originally supposed to be able to make it in to Tennessee this week, but that remains to be seen. Vescovi’s situation is a little more up in the air as he waits for a flight plan to work out to get him back to the US amidst the pandemic.

    Aside from those two, all of Tennessee’s returning players from the 2019-20 roster returned to campus on Monday of this week, as did newcomers Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson, Corey Walker Jr., and grad transfer EJ Anosike.

    We will update this story as more information becomes available.

    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.