Kim Mulkey and Baylor exited the NCAA women's basketball tournament on Monday after a heartbreaking loss to No. 1 UConn.
On her way out, though, Mulkey offered up a novel opinion: The NCAA, she said, should "dump the COVID testing" prior to the Final Four.
The NCAA has created two bubble-like atmospheres for March Madness in 2021: One for the women in San Antonio, another for the men in Indianapolis. While there, players, coaches and staffers are all tested daily for COVID-19.
Mulkey, who tested positive for COVID during the season, thinks that should change ahead of the Final Four. She wasn't asked about COVID testing at her postgame news conference. She veered off subject on her own.
“You know, I want to say this to all of ya," she began. "I don't think my words matter, but, after the games today and tomorrow, there's four teams left, I think, on the men's side and the women's side. They need to dump the COVID testing.
"Wouldn’t it be a shame to keep COVID testing, and then you got kids [testing] positive or something, and they don't get to play in the Final Four? 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.”
Positive tests have knocked one team out of March Madness thus far. The VCU men had multiple cases ahead of their first round game, and were forced to forfeit it. Nobody on the men's side nor the women's side has tested positive since.
The point of daily testing, of course, is to prevent any potential COVID infections from spreading throughout a team and its travel party, or to an opposing team.
The NCAA has never given any indication that it would consider ending the daily testing regimen at any point in the tournaments.
The women's Final Four begins Friday. The men's Final Four begins Saturday.
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