A number of Colorado State University athletes claim they've been told to keep quiet about any COVID-19 symptoms or suffer the consequences ... this according to a bombshell report.
The allegations are part of a lengthy investigation by The Coloradoan, where 10 anonymous players and staff members allege the school is trying to downplay the pandemic to keep the season alive.
An anonymous player told the outlet coaches instructed the team to not tell trainers if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms ... and if they did, they would lose playing time.
"I think everybody could be doing a better job,'' the football player says. "But, for our coaches to tell players not to tell trainers if they have symptoms because we had so many guys out is wrong.''
The report claims the football team has been hit HARD with the virus -- saying 27 players were missing from practice on July 29 due to COVID ... causing the school to voluntarily shut down team activities.
Another player claims a teammate experiencing symptoms was able to practice without wearing a mask ... and didn't want to get tested out of fear of missing workouts.
CSU athletic director Joe Parker says the school is doing what they can to keep players safe ... and denies the athletic department has any say in handling COVID-19 cases.
"There is no influence from our coaching staff on those kinds of decisions and those decisions are made outside of the athletic department and that is the way I want it,'' Parker said.
Some players are speaking out against the allegations ... saying they're simply not true.
QB Todd Centeio tweeted ... "Coming from a player with a compromised immune system. I never once felt like @CSUFootball ever put me in jeopardy."
"I have felt very comfortable and safe while going through both voluntary and mandatory workouts. The allegations are not true."
Tight end Trey McBride added ... "The coaches have done a tremendous job at keeping the health of the players and staff a top priority. The plan they have is to keep the players safety in the center. Very inaccurate."
We reached out to CSU for comment ... so far, no word back.