Louisville soccer team dismisses 3 players, suspends 3 for hosting party

Louisville soccer players kicked off team for holding off-campus party

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three University of Louisville men’s soccer players were dismissed and three others were suspended after the school discovered they organized an off-campus party that led to 29 people testing positive for the coronavirus.

In a news release Thursday, the three players who were dismissed had previous team violations, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. The university did not release the names of the six players, the newspaper reported.

On Wednesday, the university announced it was suspending workouts for men’s and women’s soccer, as well as field hockey and volleyball for a week after it learned about the athletes who tested positive, WLKY reported.

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“I’m extremely disappointed in these young men and particularly with the three that have been dismissed,” coach John Michael Hayden said in the release. “They have demonstrated with their actions now and previously that they do not echo the culture of this program. Our student-athletes are held to a high standard of conduct as representatives of our program and university.”

Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra called the athletes’ actions “unacceptable and dangerous.”

“It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team,” Tyra said in the news release. “Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department.”

Tyra said Wednesday that eight cases were discovered Monday, WLKY reported. By Wednesday, that number had increased to 29. Tyra added that most of the cases were asymptomatic.

The party on Saturday did not follow Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s 10-person gathering limit, the Courier-Journal reported.

“That limit was ignored,” Tyra said. “By the contact tracing you can see by the number of positive results there was more than 10 so they didn’t follow those state guidelines at all.”

Louisville’s actions are believed to be the first high-profile public discipline of athletes related to the spread of COVID-19, ESPN reported.