Any decision to send Wright home would have had to first be cleared by the county, the NCAA and Tech.
“All protocols and procedures are being followed in bringing the individual back to Atlanta,” Pastner said.
The NCAA’s COVID-19 protocol allows for individuals who are diagnosed while at one of its championships to return to campus before the isolation period ends. The NCAA or school can arrange for the individual to return to campus by rental car. If approved by the team physician and the local public-health authority, the NCAA can also arrange for a return via a car service approved to transport infected individuals or with school personnel, family or someone else who is either vaccinated or within the 90-day post-infection window.
Pastner acknowledged that the individual (i.e., Wright) was the subject of what he called testing “abnormalities” experienced after the Jackets’ win in the ACC title game March 13 in Greensboro, N.C. After being cleared, he was permitted to travel to Indianapolis with another member of the travel party. It’s believed the other person was vaccinated and the travel was completed in a manner following NCAA protocol.
Once in Atlanta, Wright was to complete his isolation following Tech’s protocols for infected students, which are in line with Fulton County’s health ordinances. He continued to be asymptomatic Saturday, Pastner said. He added that he did not know how Wright was infected.
“Zero,” he said. “The individual was in our bubble the entire time. That’s what makes the virus so tricky. No way to know. The individual was in our bubble the entire time. We took all precautions necessary to avoid that, and you weren’t 100% safe. It just shows you how tricky the virus is.”
Tech wasn’t the only team to be impacted while in Greensboro. Both Virginia and Duke withdrew after positive tests. Two officials who worked Tech games in Greensboro, Roger Ayers and Ted Valentine, were reported to be part of a group of six officials who were sent home from Indianapolis after they went to dinner together Sunday night and one tested positive.
Teammate Jose Alvarado wore Wright’s No. 5 in his honor against Loyola.
“We kept in contact with ‘Mo,’” Alvarado said after the game. “He was in great spirits. What can you say to a guy that works his butt off and he can’t play in the big dance? It’s hard to say anything, but he did a good job staying focused and talking to us and making sure we were trying to get ready for (Friday).”