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COVID’s already forcing Big Ten players away from the field, even those who haven’t contracted it. In response to Rutgers University’s decision to require all students to be vaccinated before returning to campus, defensive back Peyton Powell has entered the transfer portal, leaving the Scarlet Knights and the COVID vaccine behind.
The University of Rutgers has made the COVID vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football, therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal.
— Peyton Powell (@PPowell_) August 24, 2021
“The University of Rutgers has made the COVID vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football, therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal,” tweeted Powell.
A former 4-star recruit, Powell had been away from the team since training camp began. In early August, head coach Greg Schiano spoke about the defensive back’s absence: “Right now he is not part of the team. We’ll see if he does become part of the team. But as we speak, he was not on the roster.”
Powell, the first Big Ten player known to be transferring because of vaccine mandates, may soon have company in the transfer portal. Perennial conference powerhouse Ohio State announced yesterday that vaccines will be required for the entire campus. The University of Michigan is also requiring proof of vaccination from everyone on campus prior to August 30th.
Should the eleven remaining Big Ten schools institute similar policies to Rutgers, Ohio State and Michigan, student athletes supporting the “my body, my choice” mantra may soon have no other choice than to leave the conference.