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Clemson has 28 athletes and athletic department personnel test positive for Covid-19

The small school in South Carolina has as big a coronavirus problem as anyone in Division I

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Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers embraces Isaiah Simmons during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

UPDATE 6:19 p.m.: The Athletic is reporting the tally of positive tests include 23 football players and two football staff members.

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said of the novel coronavirus in April that “God can stamp this out as quick as it rose up.”

He might be praying even harder for that to happen now, as 28 of 315 student-athletes and staff tested by the Tigers athletic program have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a release from the university.

That’s a greater percentage from the general population, as most Covid-19 tests run at just over 6% positive, and include populations that already might have symptoms. To test an entire department and find 8.8% of the population has the disease is unusual. Consider Clemson alone has more positive tests than the entire English Premier League, which had 17 positives across over 10,000 tests given.

As more schools find more student-athletes and staff falling victim to the disease, questions about the future of practice and the liability of the institutions over unpaid students abound. Ohio State, Indiana, SMU, and other schools are asking players to waive liability just to even work out on campus “voluntarily.” And some schools such as UCLA have players questioning the safeguards put in place to protect them upon their return.

It’s a huge mess, it’s not going to get any easier anytime soon, and it might jeopardize the planned college football season in 2020.