UMD President Pines calls halting of athletics workouts a “reprimand”

Darryll Pines, former dean of the University of Maryland's engineering school, started his job as university president on July 1, 2020. (Eric Harkleroad/The Diamondback)

All University of Maryland athletics activities were suspended indefinitely last week, after 46 athletes tested positive for the coronavirus. During his first address to the University Senate Tuesday night, university President Darryll Pines said the suspension served as a reprimand for the reported cases that stemmed from athletes breaking health guidelines and attending social gatherings.

“In this particular case with student-athletes, the reprimand was suspension of all sports, for everybody,” Pines said. “So, if you’re part of the family … you’ll have to suffer.”

The decision is designed to “send a message,” Pines said. Per a Sept. 3 Maryland athletics release, suspending activities was “a precautionary measure,” necessary after last week’s positivity rate spiked to 9.2 percent.

Maryland had no positive results in its previous round of coronavirus testing reported on Aug. 4, meaning the athletic department’s positivity rate stood at 12 out of 964 tests, or 1.2 percent. It spiked to 63 positives out of 2,191 tests, or 2.9 percent, following last week’s results.

Per the Sept. 3 release, athletes were set to be tested again on Sept. 8. The results of those tests will be used to determine next steps.

“Athletics will work with the President’s Office and the University Health Center to make decisions regarding the resumption of training once we have the results of the new testing,” a Maryland athletics spokesperson wrote in a message.

Although Pines noted that they were waiting for test results to come in, he indicated he had not yet decided when he will lift the suspension.

“Students love their sport. The coaches love to train their students or coach their students,” Pines said. “So we are suspending activities. I haven’t decided when I’m going to release that yet.”

[Maryland athletics pauses workouts after 46 positive COVID-19 tests]

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