Despite the rampant increase in coronavirus cases across the United States, two prominent college football coaches seem confident they will be on the field for the upcoming season.
“We’re going to play football this year,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said Wednesday on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “It just depends when we’re going to play football.”
Kelly isn’t alone in anticipating that the 2020 college football season will start on time. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, who is coming off of a national championship title last season, also voiced his support for the season to take place during a discussion with Vice President Mike Pence concerning the reopening of Louisiana schools.
“We need to play. This state needs it,” Orgeron said during the roundtable discussion hosted in Baton Rouge’s Tiger Stadium. “This country needs it.”
Multiple LSU football players reportedly tested positive for the virus in June, leading to at least 30 of the program’s 115 players to quarantine because they either tested positive or had contact with someone who did.
Other schools have also reported coronavirus tests.
A pair of D-I conferences — the Patriot League and Ivy League — already have cancelled football and all fall sports. The Big 10 and Pac-12 have moved to conference-only schedules.
Meanwhile, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey recently told ESPN Radio that his concern for the football season is “high to very high,” and acknowledged, “We are running out of time to correct and get things right.”
Orgeron’s LSU is part of the SEC and Louisiana is seeing one of the sharpest spikes in coronavirus cases in the country. As of Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana had the third-highest daily reported cases per capita, according to the Washington Post.
“This [coronavirus] can be handled,” Orgeron said. “I don’t think we can take this away from our players, take this away from our state and our country. We need football. Football is the lifeblood of our country.”