Baylor’s season opening football game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday at McLane Stadium has been postponed indefinitely after an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana.
Louisiana Tech had 38 positive coronavirus cases following Hurricane Laura, according to Yahoo Sports. Prior to the hurricane, the Bulldogs had just one positive case in three weeks, according to Louisiana Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland.
Baylor and Louisiana Tech have agreed to monitor dates throughout the season to potentially make up the game.
“We are incredibly disappointed to announce the postponement of our upcoming football game against Louisiana Tech,” said Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades. “However, in the interest of the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, we are confident in this unfortunate but necessary course of action. To the Baylor and Louisiana Tech student-athletes and communities, we share in your disappointment and look ahead to resuming play.”
Rescheduling the game could be difficult since Louisiana Tech has games scheduled on weekends that Baylor has open dates.
Baylor has an open date on Sept. 19, but Louisiana Tech is scheduled to face Southern Mississippi that day in Hattiesburg. Baylor has open dates Oct. 10 and Nov. 21, but Louisiana Tech hosts UTEP on Oct. 10 and Louisiana-Monroe on Nov. 21.
Baylor’s first game under first-year coach Dave Aranda is scheduled to be its Big 12 opener against Kansas on Sept. 26 at McLane Stadium.
“We are obviously very disappointed that we will not be able to open the season this weekend at Baylor,” McClelland said. “However, with the number of recent positive COVID-19 results and contact tracing, it is simply not possible. We would be putting our student-athletes at risk.”
McClelland felt the protocols were in place for Louisiana Tech to play the Bears since the program had just one positive case before the hurricane forced many of the players to find places to stay, apparently with greater exposure to the coronavirus.
“It is obvious that the impact of Hurricane Laura in our community a few weeks ago really sparked our significant increase in numbers,” McClelland said. “With 95 percent of our city losing power for days – even up to a week in many areas – our student-athletes were forced to find places to stay and some even had family from south Louisiana that came northward to stay with them.
“So many things that we were able to control for the month of August became out of our control, and I think the numbers prove that it took its toll.”
Baylor-Louisiana Tech is the third Big 12 game that has been postponed due to COVID-19 before the season has even started.
Positive cases at TCU forced the indefinite postponement of its game against SMU which was scheduled Friday in Fort Worth. Saturday’s Oklahoma State-Tulsa game has been postponed until Sept. 19 in Stillwater after the Tulsa squad reportedly had a rash of positive cases.
Baylor's updated 2020 football schedule
Sept. 26 — Baylor vs. Kansas (6:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Oct. 3 — Baylor at West Virginia (11 a.m. ABC)
Oct. 17 — Baylor vs. Oklahoma State (homecoming)
Oct. 24 — Baylor at Texas
Oct. 31 — Baylor vs. TCU
Nov. 7 — Baylor at Iowa State
Nov. 14 — Baylor vs. Texas Tech
Nov. 28 — Baylor vs. Kansas State
Dec. 5 — Baylor at Oklahoma
Ppd. — Baylor vs. Houston
Ppd. — Baylor vs. Louisiana Tech
Ppd. — Baylor vs. Ole Miss, at NRG Stadium in Houston
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