Napier tests positive for COVID-19

Billy Napier

LAFAYETTE — Billy Napier has tested positive for COVID-19.

The University of Louisiana announced on Saturday that the third-year head football coach had tested positive for the virus. The news of Napier’s positive test arrives three days after No. 24-ranked UL (7-1, 5-1 Sun Belt) was forced to cancel its Saturday game against Central Arkansas due to having 33 student-athletes in the program’s COVID protocol for positive tests or contact tracing.

The Ragin’ Cajuns athletic department released a statement that Napier began to exhibit symptoms on Tuesday and that he began to self isolate. Napier took an antigen test on Tuesday and molecular test on Wednesday — with both resulting in negative results for the virus.

Napier continued to display symptoms and then received a positive result Saturday morning from a test he took on Friday.

“I would first and foremost like to thank everyone involved for their support of our entire organization this past week,” Napier said in a statement. “I recently tested positive for COVID-19 and will be isolating from my family, who have all remained healthy. I will be following all guidelines and recommendations set forth by our team medical staff and local public health officials. I am proud of how our student-athletes and staff have responded to this adversity. I challenge everyone, myself included, to adhere to all safety recommendations as we navigate this unprecedented time.”

The Ragin’ Cajuns football team actually resumed practice on Saturday after having team practices halted from Tuesday to Friday due to the COVID-19 outbreak within the team.

If his recovery is successful, Napier will travel separately from the team for UL’s next game — a road contest at ULM on Saturday, Nov. 28. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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