On Tuesday, Miles Blumhardt of the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported that multiple Colorado State football players and university athletic department staff are claiming the existence of a COVID-19 cover-up within the program.
Players and staff said coaches have told players to not self-report coronavirus symptoms, threatened that those who quarantine or self-isolate will lose playing time, and even modified contact tracing reports to keep players on the practice field.
One anonymous player said:
"I believe there is a cover-up going on at CSU. But they could only cover it up so long and now that we have so many cases across athletics, they can’t cover it up anymore. It’s not about the health and safety of the players but about just trying to make money off the players.''
In total, 10 players and staff have reached out to the Coloradoan over concerns in the past week.
Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker responded to the allegations:
"This (student-athlete) population is the most tested population there is here but obviously some feel that is not a good enough job to make them feel comfortable regarding their health. If that's the feeling, we will need to amp it up."
Blumhardt added that 11 Colorado State football players and 16 student-athletes, in total, have tested positive for the coronavirus as of this past Sunday. The program paused voluntary workouts on July 29 after 27 players were unavailable for practices because of COVID-19.
One player told the Coloradoan:
"We had a player who definitely had coronavirus symptoms coughing at practice and he wasn’t wearing a mask and I was next to him, touching him and there was spit and sweat. I told him he needed to get tested but he really didn’t want to because then he would be out. The next day he is not at practice. (If he tested positive) he already had spread the virus. That’s why a lot of players don’t feel safe at football practice.''
As Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports wrote, several Colorado State players have refuted any claims of misconduct or of a COVID-19 cover-up via Twitter.