OXFORD – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team has reached the 100% COVID-19 vaccination threshold, head coach Kermit Davis announced on Twitter Saturday morning. The Daily Journal confirmed the news with the athletics department.
Individuals who are vaccinated include players, coaches and managers. The Ole Miss football program is also fully vaccinated, according to head coach Lane Kiffin.
Davis told the Daily Journal on Aug. 17 that his team would reach the 100% vaccination mark “within a week, when we come back” and that 13 of 15 players at the time had received the vaccine.
“Just look around and say, ‘Holy, the hospital numbers of people in that are non-vaccinated. As a state, we have to all forget political ties and political parties and (do) what’s best for the safety of everybody,” Davis told the Daily Journal. “I’m proud of our players. It’s kind of the same thing that Lane had, and it’s been that way for a pretty long period of time.”
The first four games of the Rebels’ 2020-21 season were canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the program. That experience, having to get tested frequently and not knowing if players would be available until right before tip-off, made vaccination an easy choice for the team, Davis said.
Per the NCAA’s latest guidelines for fall sports, vaccinated individuals will not be tested for COVID-19 unless they have been in contact with a confirmed case or are symptomatic. If a vaccinated individual is considered a close contact, a quarantine isn’t mandated unless a positive test results. Unvaccinated individuals will be tested up to three times a week.
“Our returning guys ran to get vaccinated. They ran there,” Davis said. “It's pretty easy for all of us in our building. … We had conversations with our players you know, individually and with parents, just exactly what Lane has said, and ultimately all have their choice. … (But) what is it going to be in a month? Vaccinations to travel? Vaccination to play? Vaccinations to get in the stadium? We all don't know. We just don't know. We hope, but we don't know.”