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Maryland athletics reports zero positive COVID-19 tests with preseason football practice set to start Friday

Maryland athletics on Tuesday revealed the results of its latest series of coronavirus testing, announcing that no individuals tested positive for COVID-19 out of 227 student-athletes and staff screened for the virus July 27.

In total, the athletic department has administered 964 tests, with 12 positive results, a positivity rate of 1.2% It marks the second consecutive week the department has announced no positive cases in its screening.

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As part of the practice plan approved by the NCAA Division I Council, preseason football practice is scheduled to begin Friday for several programs, including Maryland. But those practices, and the college football season, are in question while the NCAA and its respective conferences aim to outline health and safety procedures for play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report, the Big Ten is expected to reveal its new conference-only football schedule ahead of the start of preseason practice. In July, the Big Ten became the first Power 5 Conference to announce a shift to a conference-only slate for fall sports. Since that announcement, the ACC and Pac-12 have revealed amended football schedules.

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Multiple Big Ten football programs, including Michigan State and Rutgers, have had to shutter voluntary summer workouts and quarantine players and staff after coronavirus outbreaks. Maryland temporarily paused its workouts in July after nine individuals tested positive for COVID-19 before resuming them later.

A coalition of Pac-12 players on Sunday revealed a list of demands concerning health, racial inequality and fair treatment of student-athletes, threatening to opt out of practices and games if the demands were not met. Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman on Tuesday morning announced that, due to health and safety concerns, he would opt-out of the 2020 season and prepare for the 2021 NFL draft.

Bateman’s decision comes one week after Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley opted out of the season, citing similar concerns.

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