Colorado State players claim they were told not to report COVID-19 symptoms
Timothy Nwachukwu / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Colorado State football players and athletic department staff members claim that coaches have told players not to report coronavirus symptoms, according to Miles Blumhardt of Coloradoan.

The coaches have threatened players with limited playing time if they quarantine, and players claim that the university is altering reports to keep players practicing, Blumhardt adds.

"I believe there is a cover-up going on at CSU," a football player said. "But they could only cover it up so long, and now that we have so many cases across athletics, they can't cover it up anymore. It's not about the health and safety of the players but about just trying to make money off the players.

"I think everybody could be doing a better job ... But for our coaches to tell players not to tell trainers if they have symptoms because we had so many guys out is wrong."

Another student-athlete said a teammate with coronavirus symptoms was afraid he'd lose his roster spot if he got tested.

"We had a player who definitely had coronavirus symptoms coughing at practice, and he wasn't wearing a mask, and I was next to him, touching him, and there was spit and sweat," he said. "I told him he needed to get tested, but he really didn’t want to because then he would be out."

After registering no positive COVID-19 cases as of July 20, the football program had 11 players infected as of Sunday, and had 27 student-athletes miss practice on July 29, the last practice day before Colorado State halted its athletic activities.

"There are some red flags in the athletic department, but the common denominator with this administration is to protect the coaches before the student-athletes, and that makes them feel more like cattle than student-athletes," a staff member said.

Athletic director Joe Parker said that if student-athletes don't think Colorado State is doing enough to keep them safe amid the pandemic, the school is willing to improve.

"This (student-athlete) population is the most tested population there is here but obviously some feel that is not a good enough job to make them feel comfortable regarding their health," Parker said. "If that's the feeling, we will need to amp it up."

Parker also denied the claims against the coaches regarding the coronavirus reporting protocol.

"There is no influence from our coaching staff on those kinds of decisions, and those decisions are made outside of the athletic department, and that is the way I want it," he said.

Meanwhile, other Colorado State players criticized the allegations.

Colorado State players claim they were told not to report COVID-19 symptoms
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