Gators’ Dan Mullen calls for ‘wrap the swamp’, then Covid hits

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Going to a home game at “The Swamp,” the Florida Gators’ football home, is a thunderous experience, with over 90,000 fans clapping loud enough to fit on the Richter scale, and it’s understandable that the head football coach Dan Mullen would like his team to have one of the best advantages on the US home court

… Except the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic.

After last week’s loss to the Texas A&M Aggies, a visibly frustrated Mullen told reporters he hoped University of Florida officials would allow a full crowd at the stadium for Saturday’s game against LSU, citing a recent Florida governor lifted attendance restrictions. Ron DeSantis.

“The crowd certainly played a part in the game,” Mullen said, “and I know our governor adopted this rule, so certainly, I hope the university administration decides to let us pack The Swamp. for LSU next week, “expressing hope that” we [should] get 90,000 in The Swamp to have the field advantage Texas A&M had today.

It was last Saturday.

The Gators football team announced on Wednesday that it was postponing the game with LSU and suspending all activities of the football team after a growing list of players and coaching staff tested positive for the coronavirus. The latest squad update has at least 21 players with Covid-19, as well as two coaches and an unknown number of support staff.

The game has been rescheduled for December 12. Missouri and Vanderbilt have also rescheduled their next game for that date after cases of Covid among the Commodores.

UF athletic director Scott Stricklin told reporters at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the team had less than the SEC’s minimum threshold of 53 fellows available to play on Saturday, due to positive cases and quarantines required, as well as unrelated injuries or other reasons to be excluded. Due to recommendations that those who test positive should self-isolate for 10 days and close contacts quarantined for 14 days, the Gators’ home game against Missouri on Oct. 24 is also in doubt.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the state’s only elected Democrat and a frequent critic of the DeSantis pandemic response, appeared on CNN to discuss the story with Brianna Keilar.

Fried, who attended UF for some of the same years as this reporter, was asked by Keilar if she thought the news would change DeSantis’ mind about lifting the restrictions.

“No,” Fried replied, noting that she rather expected DeSantis to “dig even deeper”, and referring to the governor’s recent “absolutely appalling” unmasked appearance at a Trump rally in Sanford. , where he was seen giving high fives and rubbing. nose.

Fried then explained how she understood the desire to get back to normal and enjoy the game.

Look, I was former president of the student body at the University of Florida, bleeding orange and blue. I understand the magic of wrapping The Swamp and having all of our fans, especially a home game against LSU, but Coach Mullen should really be focusing on getting a new defensive coordinator because we’re being criticized in our high school and cross our front lines and run it, that’s where our goal should be, not to put all of our fans and visitors in the stands and in The Swamp at risk of not only getting Covid, but of spread it across the state and the country.

Fried also noted that Florida was experiencing a spike in Covid cases, and even an outdoor soccer game created plenty of opportunities for the virus to be transmitted, with fans huddled together and indoors. to visit concessions and washrooms.

“We understand how important it is to bring the football season, especially SEC Football, back to where it was,” Fried said, “but not at the risk of so many people across the state and our country. It really is a bad decision and an opportunity to really spread this virus and put the lives of many people at risk.

Do you have any advice we should know? [email protected]



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