HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii says it will begin to test all of the football players who are participating in on-campus workouts for coronavirus, a departure from the protocols it had previously had in place, the school announced Tuesday.
Testing of football players who are participating in those workouts had been limited tests to athletes who were symptomatic or had potentially come into contact with someone who was COVID-19 positive. None of the other University of Hawaii sports have reported back to campus, a spokesperson said.
The change in protocol was, in part, a reflection of a change in NCAA policy regarding testing that was issued late last week.
But the issue was brought to the forefront on Sunday, after several current Rainbow Warrior football players called an article about testing that had been posted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser misleading.
The article cited a school spokesperson saying that none of the team’s football players tested positive for coronavirus. Some players turned to social media to comment on the actual testing capacity of the school, with several claiming they had not been tested at all.
A spokesperson for the athletic department said Tuesday that the interview with the Star-Advertiser had been given before the NCAA issued new guidance about testing, which the new policy reflected.
The ‘Bows are currently in the optional summer workout phase, where athletes are allowed to train on campus after getting temperature checked and screened for any symptoms.
But new head football coach Todd Graham says that the school wants to test every football player before they report to camp.
“Our team doctors and our administration wanted to make sure that we tested everybody,” Coach Graham said. “So in the next 12 days, next two weeks, we’ll be testing all of our players to get a baseline test and then progressing through the season.”
Coach Graham went on to say that the department will test all players and staff every week throughout the season, in accordance with the NCAA rule of conducting testing within 72 hours of a competition.
With the new guidelines in place, the Bows’ are set to open — a very different looking — training camp, July 31st.