Two Tar Heels sitting out vs. UConn

Updated: September 11, 2009, 12:44 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

North Carolina starting fullback Bobby Rome and reserve defensive tackle Jordan Nix tested positive for "probable" H1N1 influenza, more commonly known as swine flu, the university announced on Friday.

They did not practice this week and will not be traveling to Connecticut for Saturday's game. This is the second known case of swine flu in the ACC, as Duke -- which is only about eight miles away from Chapel Hill -- had more than 30 players diagnosed with it this summer.

Cases of swine flu have also been reported on campuses at both Maryland and Virginia, but when asked this week if any players had been affected, Virginia coach Al Groh said no. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Virginia had 55 cases of "flu-like illnesses."

"We've discussed it," Groh told reporters on his Thursday morning teleconference. "We've discussed some of things the players can do, and the impact would have on the team should it affect our team the way it has others."

None of the Maryland players has been affected, according to a school spokesman, but coach Ralph Friedgen said he was concerned about the possibility.

"You just worry about how devastating it is if it gets contagious on our team and our coaching staff," Friedgen told reporters at his weekly Tuesday news conference. "I'm trying not to panic on it, but I'm concerned about it."

"Every institution, every school, every elementary school and college is going to be fighting this all fall," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said last week. "We had 30-plus guys that had had it, and had come through, so we're hoping we don't have to face that again. We had a few coaches that got it, though they were able to stay at work and stay through it, though not very comfortably.

"Our poor trainer who was right in the middle of it got hammered with it. Of course he was treating those kids and all around it. Camp is hard. But you throw the H1N1 in there with it, it kind of made it a little difficult for everybody but I was amazed at how well everyone involved handled the adversity of dealing with it."

Heather Dinich is ESPN.com's ACC football blogger.

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