Alabama boss Nick Saban, along with his two star players, pushed back on Monday saying the players are more at risk of coronavirus infection if the college football season goes on this fall.
“I want to play, but I want to play for the players’ sake, the value they can create for themselves,” Saban told ESPN. “I know I will be criticized no matter what I say, that I don’t care about the safety of the players. Look, the players with us are a lot safer than they run around the house. We have a positive rate of about 2% on our team as of 4th July. It’s a lot higher than society. We act like these guys can’t get this unless they play. Football. They can get it anywhere, whether they̵7;re in a bar or just hanging out. “
With the 2020 college football season likely to be suspended by a chain because the Big Ten and Pac-12 are reportedly close to canceling their season, Saban doesn’t understand in a hurry to shut things down right now.
“It will be a challenge when other students enter the school, and I get it,” Saban said. “But we don’t really know what it will entail until it happens. That’s the big reason we’re pushing the season back. [in the SEC], to judge that, it’s the prudent way to do it. “
Alex Leatherwood, Alabama’s all-American attack handling expert, said players should have a chance to be heard before making any final decisions.
“There’s a lot of noise and bad things about playing with viruses going on, but I haven’t really seen what the players want,” Leatherwood told ESPN, Leatherwood told ESPN. “We’ve been honing all summer, and you don’t want it all to be in vain.
“The story to be written is we want to play.”
Saban says that Alabama checks its players at the beginning of each week and that he will send an epidemiologist to speak with his team every two weeks.
“We also check for anyone with symptoms and have an open test site so they can come and check in as many times as they want or whenever they feel it is necessary,” Saban said. “But our men won’t catch it [the virus] on the football field. They will arrest it on campus. The argument should then be, ‘We shouldn’t have schools.’ That is the argument. Why, ‘Shouldn’t we play soccer?’ Why did that become an argument? “
Saban met her leadership on Monday and held a group meeting later that day.
“It’s more important than ever to attract your players and if you don’t, then you’re not doing your job as a coach,” Saban, who regularly offers speaker to speak to his team.
In fact, since George Floyd was killed on May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alabama players have heard from people like Condoleezza Rice, Stephen A. Smith, Charles Barkley and Tony Dungy, and was given the opportunity to ask. questions.
“Coach Saban listens to his players and wants to hear our opinion first,” Alabama’s senior rerun Najee Harris told ESPN. “He told us that none of this was about him, but about us. He wanted to hear our concerns and we made it clear that we wanted to play and feel. as Alabama is doing everything we can to make sure we can play it safe. “
Harris told ESPN that he would be willing to sign the waiver and agree not to sue the college if he got the virus. He was part of a Zoom call on Sunday that included about 30 key players from all Power 5 conferences. He said they wanted to play as long as all conferences followed the same test procedure. scholarships will not be lost for players who wish to opt-out.
“We want our voices to be heard,” Harris says. “Our main requirement on the call was that we as players knew the players we were playing against all went through the same principles of testing, but we wanted to play.”
Harris, from Antioch, California, said he feels safer in Alabama with all the medical support staff and preventive measures than at home.
Leatherwood added, “We take risks every day, especially in this sport, and life shouldn’t stop. If you have the chance to achieve lasting results and people don’t feel comfortable. roof, don’t play. Everyone has their rights. But we want to play and we’ll play. “
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey tweeted that patience should be used when deciding whether to play football during the coronavirus pandemic.
The best advice I have received since COVID-19: “Be patient. Take your time when making a decision. This is completely new and you will receive better information every day.” @SEC has been considering step by step since March … slow back to practice … the first game delayed to start the fall semester ..
– Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) August 10, 2020
… Test protocols have been developed … We know that concerns remain. We never had an FB season in the COVID-19 environment. Can we play? I do not know. We did not stop trying. We support, educate, and nurture students-athletes every day, and will continue to do so … every day.
– Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) August 10, 2020
Tennessee Premier Donde Plowman tweeted that she met the Volunteer soccer team on Monday.
“At the end of our discussion, I asked them if they wanted to play soccer and the answer was YES,” said Plowman.