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Outbreak prompts Cardinals to move training camp

7/25/2005 - Arizona Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals are moving their
training camp from Flagstaff because of a virus outbreak on the
Northern Arizona University campus.
The team said late Monday afternoon no decision had been made on
where the camp will be located. Players are scheduled to gather
Sunday, with workouts beginning next Monday.
Team officials said they hoped to identify a new training site
on Tuesday.
"The overwhelming concern obviously was the health and
well-being of our team," said Rod Graves, vice president of
football operations. "Despite what have been extraordinary efforts
on the part of everyone at NAU to accommodate our team, in the end,
even the slightest risk of exposure was something we cannot
chance."
Last week, more than 100 people attending summer camps at the
university contracted the highly contagious norovirus, an illness
that is not life-threatening but causes flu-like symptoms,
including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.
It can be contracted through poor hand-washing. Health officials
say the illness probably was passed among campers through contact
with one another.
The university is sanitizing the area and has canceled all
remaining youth camps.
The Cardinals have held their training camp at Northern Arizona,
at an elevation of 7,200 feet, since the franchise moved to Arizona
from St. Louis in 1988. The players stayed in dormitories, ate at a
university dining hall and worked out on a practice field amid pine
trees on the edge of campus.
"Naturally, we're deeply disappointed," university president
John D. Haeger said in a statement released by the Cardinals. "The
Cardinals visited with us extensively and explored a number of
possibilities to make this work for the 2005 training camp. We
certainly understand their concerns and respect their decision."
One potential site for the transplanted camp is Prescott, where
the Cardinals worked out for a week last year and are scheduled to
practice from Aug. 24-26.