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Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel tests positive for COVID-19

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2-min read
Pittsburgh head coach Jeff Capel
Jeff Capel said earlier this month that he felt uneasy about playing while COVID-19 cases are spiking across the country. (AP/Keith Srakocic)

Pittsburgh coach Jeff Capel tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the team’s game against No. 23 Louisville on Tuesday, the school announced on Saturday afternoon.

Capel, the school said, is the lone person to test positive for the coronavirus during this wave of testing. It’s unknown if the 45-year-old is experiencing any symptoms.

Pittsburgh’s matchup with Louisville on Tuesday is its last before a seven day break, meaning Capel may be able to rejoin the team before it travels to No. 21 Duke on Dec. 29.

Capel is the latest prominent college coach to contract the coronavirus so far this season, joining Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Baylor’s Scott Drew, among others.

Capel uneasy about playing during COVID-19

Capel said earlier this month that he felt uneasy about playing basketball at all this season while the coronavirus is raging throughout the country like never before.

There were more than 251,000 new cases on Friday alone, according to The New York Times, an all-time high. The country is averaging more than 2,500 deaths a day to the virus, too.

Both figures are miles higher than what they were when the NCAA opted to cancel the NCAA tournament in March due to the pandemic.

“These kids are away [from their families] and they’re out and they’re laying it on the line to entertain people. Something just doesn’t feel right about it right now,” Capel said. “The numbers were what they were back in March. I look at it every day, man. It seems like every day it’s getting worse. I don’t know why you cancel [the NCAA tournament] in March, but you say it’s OK to do it right now. But what do I know?”

Capel isn’t alone, either. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made similar statements just days later, too, and announced that the Blue Devils were canceling the rest of their non-conference games.

“For the good of the game and for the good of the safety and mental and physical health of players and staff, we need to constantly look at this thing,” Krzyzewski said. “ … I don’t think it feels right to anybody.”

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