Saban told ESPN, “I want to play, but I want to play for the sake of the players. They can create that value themselves.” “I know everything I say will be criticized, that I don’t care about the safety of the player. Look, the players are a lot safer with us because they are running around at home. We have a positive ratio of about 2% Is. Our team since the fourth of July. It’s a lot more than society. We act like these people as long as they don’t play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they’re in a bar. Or just wandering outside. ”
With the 2020 college football season potentially hanging from a thread in the form of the Big Ten and Pac-12, who are reportedly close to canceling their season, Saban just doesn’t figure to hurry everything off .
“It’s going to be a challenge when other students get on campus, and I get that,” Saban said. “But we don’t really know what happens until it happens. It’s a big reason we pushed the season back [in the SEC], To assess it, which is the prudent way of doing it. ”
Alex Leatherwood, who dealt with the Alabama-All-America offensive attack, said players should have an opportunity to be heard before making any final decisions.
“There is a lot of noise and bad stuff about playing football with the virus, but I haven’t really seen anything,” Leatherwood told ESPN. “We’ve been grinding all summer, and you don’t want it to be all that much.
“The story that needs to be written is that we want to play.”
Saban said that Alabama tests his players at the beginning of each week and that he brings in an epidemiologist to talk to his team every two weeks.
“We test anyone who has symptoms and has an open test site where they can go and test as many times as they want or at any time they feel they need to,” Saban he said. “But our people are not going to catch [the virus] On the football field. They are going to catch it on campus. The argument should probably be, ‘We should not be a school’. This is the reasoning. Why is it, ‘We should not play football?’ Why has that become an argument? ”
Saban held a meeting with his leadership council on Monday and a team meeting later in the day.
“It is more important than ever to involve your players, and if you are not, you are not doing your job,” is what Saban has said in regular speakers to address his team.
In fact, George Floyd was killed on May 25 while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Alabama players Condoleza Rice, Stephen A. The likes of Smith, Charles Barclay and Tony Dungi have listened and have a chance to ask. questions.
“Coach Saban listens to his players and wants to hear from us first,” Alabama senior running Nazi Harris told ESPN. “He told us that none of it is about him, but it’s about us. He wants to listen to our concerns, and we made it clear that we want to play and feel that Alabama is all that Doing what they can to make sure we can play safely. ”
Harris told ESPN that he would be ready for it if he agreed to sign and not sue the university for contracting the virus. He was part of the zoom call on Sunday, which featured around 30 key players from the Power 5 conferences. He said that the overwhelming feeling was that he wanted to play as long as the same testing protocol was followed in all conferences and that the players who wanted it did not lose their scholarship.
“We want our voice heard,” Harris said. “Our main demand on the call was that we let the players know that the players we are playing against have all gone through the same testing guidelines, but we want to play.”
Harris, who is from Antioch, California, said he feels safer in Alabama than all his medical support staff and precautions he does at home.
Leatherwood said, “We take risks every single day, especially in this game, and life shouldn’t stop. If there’s a chance for long-term impact if you get it and people don’t feel comfortable, then Don’t play. Everyone deserves their right. But we want to play, and we’re going to play. ”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sanke tweeted that patience should be used when deciding to play football during a coronovirus epidemic.
The best advice I’ve received since COVID-19: “Be patient. Take time when making decisions. It’s all new and you’ll get better information every day.” @SEC Each stage has been deliberated since March … slowing return to practice … 1 game delay to honor the start of the fall semester.
– Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) 10 August 2020
… abolished testing protocols … we know that concerns remain. We have never done FB season in COVID-19 environment. can we play? I do not know. We have not stopped trying. We support, educate and care for student-athletes every day, and continue to do so every day.
– Greg Sankey (@GregSankey) 10 August 2020
Chancellor of Tennessee Donde Plowman Tweeted She met with the Volunteers football team on Monday.
“At the end of our discussion, I asked if they wanted to play football and the answer was a resounding yes,” Plowman said.