Football Player Says He's Transferring from Rutgers Due to University's COVID Vaccine Mandate

Rutgers University is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated ahead of the 2021 school year

Rutgers football
Rutgers football. Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ahead of college football season, one athlete has publicly cut ties with Rutgers University due to the school's requirement that members of the student body receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, defensive back Peyton Powell tweeted about his plan to leave the New Jersey university, writing that Rutgers "made the COVID vaccine mandatory to attend school and play football, therefore I have no other choice but to enter my name into the transfer portal."

The Midland, Texas, native did not have any playing time during his sophomore year at Rutgers after he transferred from Baylor University in December 2019.

During training camp, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had said Powell was not a part of the program's roster, according to

In March, the university was among the first to announce a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students enrolled for the 2021 fall semester with some able to request an exemption from vaccination for medical or religious reasons.

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Peyton Powell
Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP

"We are committed to health and safety for all members of our community, and adding COVID-19 vaccination to our student immunization requirements will help provide a safer and more robust college experience for our students," Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a statement.

In a separate message, Holloway and other administrators said the vaccine is "enabling Rutgers to take steps to protect the health of our academic community and to move toward a full return to our pre-pandemic normal as a vibrant institution in Fall 2021."

Since March, more colleges and universities across the U.S. have publicly issued vaccine requirements.

Recently, the University of Virginia disenrolled at least 238 students who failed to comply with its vaccine mandate, according to CNN, which reported that the current university policy in place for the 2021-2022 academic year requires "all students who live, learn, or work in person at the university" to be fully vaccinated.

Of the 238 incoming fall semester students who were disenrolled, just 49 were enrolled in classes, UVA spokesperson Brian Coy told CNN. The remaining 189 "may not have been planning to return to the university this fall at all."

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