Head coach David Cutcliffe had more preparation to do than usual for spring practice this year.
Student Health Executive Director Dr. William Purdy reported in an email to all students Monday that there had been “several cases” of noroviruses, commonly known as the stomach flu, diagnosed within the last week.
“I went straight to Lowe’s,” Cutcliffe said about hearing the report. “You have to have that hydrochloride bleach, so I went and bought cases of this stuff, and I cleaned the Yoh [Center]… for four hours.”
At least 15 Blue Devils were infected with the H1N1 virus during summer practices leading up to the 2009 season.
Even if Duke avoids illness, though, the team is still shorthanded heading into spring practice. Cutcliffe said tight end Braxton Deaver and defensive end Jordan Dewalt-Ondijo will miss the entire spring after undergoing leg surgeries in January. Defensive end Kenny Anunike is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the middle of last season. Conner Vernon and Kelby Brown are also out indefinitely with injuries.
Cutcliffe also said the team will be trying certain players out at different positions, most notably sending Brandon Braxton from wide receiver—where he caught 40 passes for 352 yards in 2011—to safety.
The Blue Devils will open practice tomorrow, one of 15 official practices the team can hold this spring.