Missouri State President Clif Smart told the university’s board of governors Friday that the school’s football game was, at one time, in serious jeopardy.
The Bears are scheduled to kick off Saturday at 6 p.m. in Norman, Oklahoma, against the Sooners. The game carries a $600,000 guaranteed payment that will be made to MSU if the game is played.
Smart began by saying that all 72 members of Missouri State’s traveling team had been tested and there wasn’t a single positive test for COVID-19 and that they were on the road to Norman.
“Oklahoma cannot say the same thing,” Smart continued. “The game was in serious jeopardy until we got final test results this morning and I better not say anything else because I don’t know who’s listening.”
Smart continued to say how happy he was about college sports being back.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley announced Tuesday that the school would no longer release its testing data for competitive reasons — although the school had previously been transparent about its testing results.
“Obviously any active case or contact trace is gonna have repercussions and so just like we would with an injury, we’re not gonna — we’ve just made the decision to not broadcast that,” Riley said Tuesday. “I know we’ve been probably the most transparent school in the country up until then, but you don’t want to give your team a competitive disadvantage so we’re not going to do that.”
Missouri State has released numbers when asked by reporters. The university said on Tuesday that 1,563 tests have been administered since May with 130 coming back positive for COVID-19. In tests administered last week, 211 were given with 13 coming back positive.
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on Twitter where his handle is @WyattWheeler_NL. You can also sign up for his free “Bears Beat” newsletter by subscribing on News-Leader.com.