Syracuse, Pitt don't practice Thursday due to coronavirus concerns

For the third time in little more than a week, Syracuse football players opted not to practice because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Syracuse.com reported that players want the school to perform more routine testing during fall camp. A Syracuse spokesman confirmed the team did not hold its scheduled practice Thursday.

Orange players also sat out the first two days of fall camp last week amid worries about testing and safety protocols. Coach Dino Babers said he met with players rather than practice and addressed the bulk of their concerns, which were largely tied to safety procedures at opposing schools.

Babers said repeatedly that Syracuse's rate of positive tests were among the best in the country, though as a private institution, the school does not release its testing data.

Babers also said Syracuse is testing biweekly during camp. Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack released a statement last week saying that, at the players' request, the team would be tested twice weekly during the season.

The concerns from Syracuse players were echoed at fellow ACC school Florida State on Thursday as well, with several of the team's wide receivers taking to social media to express frustration about a lack of transparency regarding testing.

Meanwhile, at Pitt, Thursday's scheduled practice was sacked as more than a half-dozen players showed symptoms that have been tied to COVID-19. The players have all been tested, and the school said it plans to resume practice Friday with all players who have cleared virus protocols.

"Our medical team decided it was in everyone's best interest to temporarily pause our Thursday training camp activities so that we could test symptomatic players per our protocol," Pitt AD Heather Lyke said in a statement. "Based on negative test results received late [Thursday], it has been determined that we can safely resume practice on Friday."