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Louisville soccer dismisses 3 players following COVID-19 outbreak

UofL said the players were primarily responsible for a coronavirus outbreak that forced four teams to halt activities.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville men's soccer team has dismissed three players from the program following a coronavirus outbreak connected to an off-campus party.

Officials previously announced the temporary suspension of all team-related activities for men's and women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball after 29 members of the four teams tested positive for COVID-19.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra said in a press conference the cases were traced back to an off-campus party over the weekend, saying he was "incredibly disappointed and frustrated."

UofL said the three players dismissed had prior team violations and were primarily responsible for organizing the off-campus party that resulted in the outbreak. Three other players have also been suspended.

"I'm extremely disappointed in these young men and particularly with the three that have been dismissed," said UofL men's soccer head coach John Michael Hayden. "They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program. Our student-athletes are held to a high standard of conduct as representatives of our program and university."

Tyra said he supported the decision, saying their actions do not align with university's values.

"It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team," Tyra said. "Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous."

Members of other programs were also potentially exposed to the virus and must remain in quarantine, though Tyra said there was not enough of those players to suspend all activities. No football players were found in contact tracing.

Team members from the sports programs who have not tested positive or been identified through contact tracing may be permitted to return to workouts on campus beginning Aug. 10, pending the outcome of test results.

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