GAINESVILLE, Fla. — UPDATE 2:02 P.M. EST:
University of Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin has announced that Florida's game with Louisiana State University, scheduled for this Saturday, October 17, has been postponed to December 12.
Football activity will be paused indefinitely. Players and staff not in quarantine will continue to be tested regularly.
The Gators have experienced a rise in positive COVID-19 cases in their program since Sunday night and on the heels of their loss at Texas A&M. The Aggies have not reported any positive COVID-19 cases at this time.
In addressing the media Wednesday, Stricklin revealed that 18 scholarship players and three walk-on's have tested positive for the coronavirus. With additional players sidelined via contact tracing, less than 50 players would've been available for Saturday's game against LSU. Head coach Dan Mullen revealed Wednesday morning that two assistant coaches had also tested positive. Stricklin said that all those currently infected with COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms.
Stricklin said that several of the infected players experienced "allergy-like symptoms" during the trip to Texas A&M, and those symptoms were not reported.
Prior to the season beginning, the program had just 11 total positive cases. On Monday, Mullen called the program "a model of safety" for adhering to all protocols up to that point.
More details will be provided as further information becomes available.
- - - - -
After 19 football student-athletes reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous week, University of Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin suspended football operations Tuesday afternoon, saying the University would re-evaluate the following day.
It's now the following day. And things don't look great for the program's scheduled game Saturday against LSU.
Multiple reports, including the Gainesville Sun and Football Scoop, say that the Saturday matinee will be postponed. There is no official word on when the game would be made-up. The two schools do not share a bye week, leaving the SEC's open week -- December 12 -- as the most likely possibility.
Stricklin is set to meet the media at 2 p.m. First Coast News will update this story when more information becomes available at that time.
Head football coach Dan Mullen met with reporters Wednesday morning and did apologize for his comments regarding increasing fan attendance at home games to 90,000. Mullen said that he wants to abide by whatever local health officials say, but also wants those who can attend to create an "unbelievable environment."
"I apologize if I offended anyone," Mullen said.
Florida (2-1) and LSU (1-2) were set to kick-off at 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.