RUSTON, La. (KNOE) — Louisiana Tech’s football season opener against Baylor University scheduled for Sept. 12 has been postponed.
According to LaTech officials, Baylor and LaTech have agreed to monitor dates throughout the season to potentially make up for the game.
Baylor Athletics Director Mack B. Rhoades said the decision was a necessary form of action.
“We are incredibly disappointed to announce the postponement of our upcoming football game against Louisiana Tech,” said Rhoades. “However, in the interest of the health and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, we are confident in this unfortunate but necessary course of action. To the Baylor and Louisiana Tech student-athletes and communities, we share in your disappointment and look ahead to resuming play.”
Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland said the recent number of positive COVID-19 cases has made it impossible for the game to go on.
“We are obviously very disappointed that we will not be able to open the season this weekend at Baylor,” said McClelland. "However, with the number of recent positive COVID19 results and contact tracing, it is simply not possible. We would be putting our student-athletes at risk.
McClelland also said he thinks the impact of Hurricane Laura had something to do with the rise in COVID-19 numbers.
“It is obvious that the impact of Hurricane Laura in our community a few weeks ago really sparked our significant increase in numbers. With 95 percent of our city losing power for days – even up to a week in many areas – our student-athletes were forced to find places to stay and some even had family from south Louisiana that came northward to stay with them. So many things that we were able to control for the month of August became out of our control, and I think the numbers prove that it took its toll” said McClelland.
“The days leading up to this outbreak, we had a stretch of three weeks with only one positive case. So the protocols we had in place were working prior to Hurricane Laura.” McClelland said.
Louisiana Tech is scheduled to open its C-USA season Sept. 19 at Southern Miss.