Three University of Louisville men’s soccer players have been dismissed from the team after organizing a party amid the coronavirus pandemic, the school’s athletics department said Thursday. The party may have contributed to the spread Covid-19 among student-athletes.
Three other team members were suspended. The names of the players dismissed or suspended have not been released.
The three players that were dismissed each had prior team violations, the athletics department said, and were primarily responsible for organizing a party on Saturday. The party led to the temporary shutdown of voluntary activities and preseason practice for four Cardinal sports, according to the school.
The University said Wednesday that 29 members of four sports teams had tested positive for Covid-19 and multiple other student-athletes were potentially exposed and in quarantine.
“The primary source of the positive tests…was traced primarily to an off-campus party,” the school’s athletics department said.
“I’m extremely disappointed in these young men and particularly with the three that have been dismissed,” Louisville men’s soccer head coach John Michael Hayden said. “They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program. Our student-athletes are held to a high standard of conduct as representatives of our program and university.”
Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Vince Tyra shared Hayden’s sentiment.
“I fully support John Michael’s decision,” Tyra said. “Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department.”
He added that the student-athletes ignored the safety protocols, issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department.
The school did not say what the prior team violations were for the three players that were dismissed.
The four University of Louisville sports put on temporary pause are men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and volleyball.
This is not the first time a campus party has resulted in the spread of COVID-19. In July, the University California, Berkeley confirmed 47 new coronavirus cases in just one week. Most of the cases came from a series of parties connected to the CalGreek system, which led to some secondary spread within households and other smaller gatherings, according to the UC Berkeley.
And in Mississippi, fraternity parties continued during the summer, resulting in several Covid-19 cases, according to the state’s health officer. In June, the Mississippi State Health Officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, announced 381 new cases and five additional deaths. Quite a few of those patients were linked to fraternity rush parties, according to Dobbs.
The University of Connecticut canceled its 2020 football season Wednesday amid growing concerns surrounding Covid-19. “After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” UConn Director of Athletics David Benedict said in a news release.