It did not take long for the COVID-19 pandemic to have its way with spring practice for newly hired head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Texas football program. On March 24, Texas had to put spring ball on pause thanks to reported (per Horns247, paid content) COVID-19 positive tests. Specifically, Texas reportedly had positive tests stemming from the running back and defensive line rooms.
Sark and the Longhorns still went through coach meetings and conditioning on March 24 and 25. But a lot of contact drills during spring camp had to be put on pause to undergo further testing and contact tracing.
And on March 25, the Longhorns held practice virtually. Apparently, the goal to resume football team activities will be the following Monday or Tuesday. That will be some costly lost practice time for the Longhorns in spring ball.
Texas needs every rep they can get in spring ball this offseason with a new coaching staff instilling new schemes on both sides of the ball. This is also a team that is losing a lot of experience this offseason on both sides of the ball.
As long as they can get back rolling come the start of next week, missing out on these reps won’t hurt too much.
Impact of cancelation on Texas football
A way this can viewed in a positive light is that the multiple injured Longhorns players can get some extra time to rest up. Texas missed seven players entirely in spring ball, including quite a few more missing the first few days of drills this week.
Texas originally began spring ball back on March 23, so they’re still only a few days into practice. And the spring football game is set to take place on April 24 back at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Nonetheless, hopefully the COVID-19 will be a thing of the past soon and delays to the college football world can also be put in the rear view mirror in the latter stages of the pandemic. Texas got through last season with just one canceled game due to COVID-19, which was supposed to be the regular season finale against the Kansas Jayhawks.
Last season, Texas finished up with a record of 7-3 (5-3 Big 12) under the direction of the now former fourth-year head coach Tom Herman. Sark took over as the program’s next head coach after the departure of Herman back on Jan. 2.