Coach O discusses likelihood of college football as cancellation talks swirl
With the fate of the upcoming college football season undecided, LSU Head Coach Ed Orgeron and SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey took time Tuesday to address the situation.
Coach Orgeron said during an interview on ESPN radio show Off The Bench that he understands most players are eager to face off against their fellow teams. But he also said he understands why officials are hesitant to give the go-ahead amid the health crisis.
This week, ESPN reported that a condition with ties to COVID has been discovered in college athletes. Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, has been found in at least five Big Ten conference athletes and among several other athletes in other conferences.
Orgeron went on to explain he has confidence in officials to make the right decision, saying, "I believe in our commissioner, our athletic director, our president that we will do the right thing for our players."
While sympathizing with players who want the season to continue, Orgeron emphasized the importance of patiently waiting on a decision from the SEC.
"I know that most of our players and players around the country want to play," Orgeron said. "But I do believe that we need to continue, let the process take its place, continue on and then make a proper decision when the time comes. You know, the easiest thing to do right now is to say no."
While he'd love to see the teams play, he said he understands that health and safety comes first.
"If our players can't play, I for one am not going to put them in harm's way," Orgeron continued.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey also chimed in on the likelihood of fall sports, saying he's confident college staffs can keep players healthy during an interview with 'Good Morning America.'
"We as a conference in each of our universities have taken the virus seriously from the beginning, and the comparative is 'should we simply let people out in society where we don't know whether they have covid or not?'" Sankey said. "We've been involved in testing and care and been involved in following local health policies continuously and I think has provided a healthy environment."
But as the team awaits the SEC's decision, they haven't been resting on their laurels. Instead, they've been practicing so that as soon as they're called back to the field for a game, they'll be ready to play.
The SEC is currently set to kick off the season Sept. 26 with an abridged, conference-only schedule.
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