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Ole Miss Football cancels Wednesday’s practice out of ‘abundance of caution’ due to COVID-19

Ole Miss Football cancels Wednesday’s practice out of ‘abundance of caution’ due to COVID-19

OXFORD — Ole Miss football made the decision Wednesday to suspend team activities today as a result of COVID-19. The team released a statement Wednesday morning saying an “abundance of caution” led to the cancellation of practice today. 

“It’s not enough to where we wouldn’t play today but the concern is obviously the spreading of that,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said in his weekly Wednesday press conference. 

We’re retesting today. Staff, offensive and defensive players. Players are not in the building outside of the test. If these all come back negative, then we’ll continue things tomorrow.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin

Coach Kiffin did explain if the team had to play a game today, they would be able to with the number of players available now. However, more will be known after today’s round of re-tests, with those results being returned tomorrow morning. 

It isn’t just Rebel players who are affected. Kiffin reports that at least one staff member has tested positive. 

“It was the smart thing to do,” Kiffin said of suspending practice today. “It would’ve been tougher if we were playing this week. We’ve just got to make sure. Our coaches are still in here working on recruiting and future opponents. We’re not in meetings together. We had a staff meeting via Zoom even though they were in the building, and non-essential employees we have sent home.”

In determining whether or not the team will resume practice on Thursday, Kiffin said that will depend upon what happens with today’s testing. 

“It’s all about what the results are tomorrow,” Kiffin said.

If everything comes back with no more positives then we’ll keep moving. If there are, we’ve obviously got to look at who they are, how much are they, close contacts with them. This is exactly how you saw programs have to shut down.

Coach Kiffin

He explained there’s not a set number of players who would need to either test positive or be in close-contact tracing protocols to indicate the need for practice being cancelled Thursday. Rather, Kiffin said it’s a function of which players and/or position groups are affected. 

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over a decade, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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