On the day before their first padded practice was set to take place, UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter and head coach Dana Dimel announced the postponement of fall camp due to four players testing positive for COVID-19.

"Out of safety considerations for all parties, the entire football team (student-athletes, coaches and staff) was tested for COVID-19 on Thursday, August 6," the athletic department wrote in a release on Sunday. "Only partial results were available on Saturday, causing Sunday’s practice to be canceled. The remaining results were obtained on Sunday."

 

All four players are asymptomatic, per UTEP. The program said that the student-athletes that tested positive and their roommates are undergoing a 14-day quarantine period starting on Saturday, Aug. 8, and will be retested on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

“It was important to us that we tested everybody before beginning contact drills," said Senter in a release. "We have protocols in place and we are following them. We are testing and the testing is doing what it was intended to do – identify asymptomatic individuals who are positive. We are doing everything that we can to mitigate the spread of the disease. While we have to put our entire team in quarantine for five days, the safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is the top priority.”

Wednesday's results will have a direct impact on whether or not to resume practices, per UTEP.

"Extensive cleaning" will take place at the team's training facilities at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center, which will close on Monday, Aug. 10.

“It was important to us that we tested everybody before beginning contact drills. We have protocols in place and we are following them. We are testing and the testing is doing what it was intended to do – identify asymptomatic individuals who are positive. We are doing everything that we can to mitigate the spread of the disease. While we have to put our entire team in quarantine for five days, the safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is the top priority.”

“I am fully supportive of the recommendations of our Sports Medicine personnel and team doctors," Dimel said in a release. "We can’t wait to resume preparations for our fall season, but safety comes first.”

Over the past week, UTEP saw both Texas Tech (Sept. 5) and Nevada (Sept. 12) games fall through on their schedule. Although sources told 600 ESPN El Paso that the team is in the process of trying to schedule another game, there is still no indication on when the season is expected to start. Brian Davis of the Austin American Statesman wrote that the Texas-UTEP game might be pushed up to Sept. 12 from its original date on Sept. 19.