San Diego State head coach Rocky Long knew he'd face tough fall camp questions about his offensive line, replacements for running back Donnel Pumphrey and their quest for a third-straight Mountain West title.
He was not expecting to face a chickenpox dilemma.
Three weeks before the Aztecs open the season at home against UC Davis, a chickenpox outbreak has taken over their locker room. Though only three players have been diagnosed, Long and the team's medical staff believe there are — or will be — others affected.
“I’m afraid that it might not be just three of them,” Long told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The team’s been together for a whole week now. It’s dramatic if we lose a few more. …What if it hits 10 other ones?”
The Union-Tribune said senior linebacker Tyler Morris was the first player to contract the highly contagious disease. It then went to fellow senior linebacker Temerick Harper — a friend of Morris who sits next to him at team meetings — and then junior offensive tackle Ryan Pope, a roommate of Harper.
“One of our guys was real nervous because he hung out with those guys (Friday), and he (supposedly) knew he had never been vaccinated and he knew he never had it,” Long added. “So we called his mother and she said he had it when he was 7. So if you ask these guys, they don’t know if they had it or not.”
While the overwhelming primary concern is the players' health, the situation also concerning for the team's depth. What if it does become 10 players as Long suggested and slowly carries along through camp?