On Monday, the Virginia Tech Hokies released a statement by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Rogers in response to growing concerns about health protocols on campus during the current pandemic. Last week, Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley opted out of competition for next fall in hopes to better prepare for next year’s NFL Draft. He interviewed with Pro Football talk, in an interview released Monday morning, to discuss his impressions of the current health practices implemented at Virginia Tech.
“This year at Virginia Tech, at our workouts, I started having deep concerns about staying healthy,” Farley said. “Guys were going home, going to Myrtle Beach, coming back to campus, and we weren’t getting tested. We’re all together, working out, close to each other, and you have no real idea who might have it, if anybody might have it. One day I looked around, and we were like 100-deep in our indoor facility, no masks. My concern grew more and more.”
Of course, this quote grew into a much bigger story, painting Virginia Tech in a poor light given the current circumstances. Farley’s name has been a hot topic consider he is a high profile college football player that is one of the first players that decided to opt out of the 2020 College Football season. The Hokies were quick to respond, discrediting the claims made by Farley, and noting the measures currently in place.
Dr. Mark Rogers – Chief Medical Officer for Virginia Tech Athletics provided this statement:
“The health and welfare of our student-athletes and staff, as well as the Virginia Tech and surrounding communities continues to be our foremost priority. All Virginia Tech student-athletes are tested for COVID-19 and screened before being cleared to participate in any athletic activities. In addition, follow-up testing protocols are performed on a regular basis in accordance with Centers for Disease Control, ACC and NCAA recommendations. “In addition, daily screening protocols and monitoring measures are in place in accordance with the standards established by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Montgomery County public health officials. An abundance of caution continues to be utilized to ensure all equipment and facilities are sanitized and cleaned appropriately. “Student-athletes and staff have been issued personal protective equipment to wear in indoor areas. The Beamer-Lawson Practice Facility continues to be utilized in an open-air configuration in accordance with health department guidelines. As another safety precaution, all staff members have been issued additional personal protective equipment to wear during workouts and practices. In conjunction with Mike Goforth and Tech’s Sports Medicine team, we will continue to follow the latest guidance from Virginia Tech, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the CDC.”
The major takeaways from the statement are that Virginia Tech ensures proper protocol is taking place and that testing is provided to all those involved with the program. It also points to the Beamer-Lawson Practice Facility being an open-air area, which could be the facet that Farley was pointing out. VTScoop will continue to monitor this story and provide any additional updates.
UPDATE: 4:45 PM, Monday, August 3rd
Head Coach Justin Fuente gave a statement, after speaking with Caleb Farley personally, in order to understand the context of his comments. The two chatted and Fuente admits he feels better after understanding Farley’s point of view and further backs the claims made by Dr. Mark Rogers.
“I spoke with Caleb earlier today and I feel much better about the context of his comments regarding his personal concerns regarding COVID-19. In our conversation I also told Caleb that I will always love and support him and that I’m looking forward to cheering him on as he pursues his dream of playing in the National Football League. We at Virginia Tech will always wish Caleb Farley and his family the very best. “One of my most important responsibilities as the head coach of the football program at Virginia Tech is to put the best interests of our team, our players, our coaches and our staff at the forefront of every decision we make. We are entrusted with that task every day. I have the utmost confidence in medical guidance provided by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Rogers and our Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, Mike Goforth, as well as the plan they are implementing along with our campus officials to allow our team to train and prepare for the upcoming season. I appreciate their tireless work and support the procedures they have put in place for our team.”