Baylor coach calls for end of COVID-19 testing at NCAAs

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Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey talks to her players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UConn in the Elite Eight round of the Women’s NCAA tournament Monday, March 29, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Baylor coach Kim Mulkey thinks the NCAA should do away with COVID-19 testing for the Final Four and implied Monday night that players should be able to participate in those games even if they’re infected with the coronavirus.

“I don’t think my words matter, but after the games today, tomorrow, there’s four teams left I think on the men’s side and the women’s side,” Mulkey said, unprompted, after her team lost to UConn 69-67 in the Elite Eight. “They need to dump the COVID testing.”

Players and coaches at both tournaments have been tested daily and have been wearing devices that help assist with contact tracing. As of Saturday, there had been two confirmed positive tests at the women’s tournament with over 15,400 administered.

The last positive result among the players, coaches and others working at the tournament was reported on March 22 from daily antigen testing. Any false positives are quickly retested using a PCR test, which is considered more accurate.

“Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing and then you got kids that end up having tested positive or something, and they don’t get to play in the Final Four,” Mulkey said. “So you need to just forget the COVID tests and let the four teams that are playing in each Final Four, go battle it out.”

Mulkey tested positive for COVID-19 in January, forcing the cancellation of Baylor’s regular-season meeting with UConn.

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