STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State football team will not play No. 24 Auburn this week because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Bulldogs.
Head coach Mike Leach held his weekly press conference and gave an update on the team’s situation.
The Southeastern Conference announced Monday that Mississippi State does not have enough available players to compete this weekend because of positive coronavirus tests and subsequent quarantines within the program.
Leach said the Vanderbilt game last week was “close to having to cancel” as well because State was just one player above the 53-scholarship threshold.
Leach then talked about the contact tracing protocols.
“We’ve got several guys that aren’t even positive that have to sit at home and play video games because they were next to somebody [who tested positive],” Leach said. “And in a lot of cases, they never get it. But that’s kind of what we’re operating under. So that’s what it is.”
Leach was asked to talk about the SEC’s safety measures and protocols in order to be given the green light to play, but he decided not to answer that question.
“Our country has quickly become less free than it used to be,” Leach said. “I’m not going to share my thoughts on that, but I definitely do have some thoughts. I know a lot of people probably have the same thoughts as I do, but I’m going to keep them to myself.”
Leach did say he believes he contracted the coronavirus in March while attending a sports symposium in Boston.
“I’m fairly certain that I had it in March, because I had all the same symptoms that other people had,” Leach said. “I was on a plane full of Boston people coming and going, and then went to spring break, and about a day and a half after, I was in Florida, about a day and a half after I got back, I got sick. But that was before, one, it was impossible to find a test, two, they’re unreliable, three, they’re kind of expensive so I didn’t get tested. I did have pretty much all the symptoms. If I had to bet, I would definitely bet that I had it then.”
Leach said he got over the sickness symptoms in about two and a half days, but he did say that he needed a great deal of sleep to get back to feeling 100%.