Tennessee pauses basketball activities, former Longhorns coach Rick Barnes positive for COVID-19

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Rick Barnes SEC semifinals

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (KXAN) — Tennessee basketball head coach Rick Barnes tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement from the program’s Twitter account. All team activities are paused after multiple people within the program tested positive for the virus during “routine COVID-19 surveillance testing.”

Tennessee says the positive cases are from Tier 1 personnel, which includes coaches, athletes, team managers and support staff.

An update on the upcoming Volunteer Classic games that were expected to kick off the Volunteers’ season on Wednesday. The statement says an update on those game will be provided on Tuesday.

Barnes, 66, was fired at Texas after 17 seasons with the program. He was hired at Tennessee in 2015.

The college basketball season is on shaky ground before it has even started with games across the country expected to be tipped off on Wednesday. Baylor withdrew from the Empire Classic at Mohegan Sun after head coach Scott Drew tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Duke’s Wednesday season opener against Gardner-Webb has been postponed after a positive test within the Gardner-Webb program. Multiple other teams have paused all basketball activities including Northwestern, Florida, Utah Seton Hall and Creighton.

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