In a decision announced yesterday, junior defensive back Peyton Powell of the Rutgers football team has decided to transfer from the program. Powell cited the University’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandate as the reason for his transfer.
“(Rutgers) has made the (COVID-19) vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football,” Powell said in a statement made via Twitter. “Therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal.”
A graduate of Odessa Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, Powell first committed to play football at Baylor. After a 2019 season in which he did not see game action for the Bears, Powell transferred to the Scarlet Knights but did not see any time on the field in 2020.
As for the upcoming 2021 season, Schiano said at the start of training camp that Powell was not a part of the Rutgers roster, but there was still room for changes. When asked about Powell on Monday, Schiano reconfirmed that he was not on the Knights' roster, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Prior to the start of training camp, head football coach Greg Schiano, who is vaccinated, said that the program is more than 90 percent vaccinated. He also stated that extensive education was provided regarding the entire process.
“Whether it’s a competitive advantage, I don’t know,” Schiano said. “But I know this: It feels more back to normal. One of the things I can’t wait to do is move back into our team meeting room.”
Powell did not respond to a request for comment.
For updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.