NCAAF

Florida’s Dan Mullen learns the arduous means about COVID-19

The coronavirus is relentless, insidious, infectious and fully oblivious to your opinions.

Final Saturday afternoon, Florida coach Dan Mullen was pushing for his school to allow some 90,000 fans to jam Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville for this week’s matchup with LSU.

By Wednesday, the sport was postponed as a result of an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst Florida gamers and coaches. 

By Saturday, Mullen announced he had COVID-19 himself.

Similar to that.

There is no such thing as a must pile on Mullen. In spite of everything, the 48-year-old is caught coping with self-isolation, an unsure schedule and a workforce filled with positives. And hopefully that’s the worst of it. Hopefully he and his gamers solely expertise delicate, if any, signs. You by no means know with Covid although.

His “Pack The Swamp” feedback had been ill-advised, but it surely got here in moments of frustration following a loss to Texas A&M. Then he went and reiterated them two days later. However both means, the UF administration wasn’t going to grant it. The college reiterated it will comply with its personal infectious illness medical doctors and specialists and cap attendance at 20 p.c, quite than the governor, who’s permitting 100 p.c.

“Coaches typically say issues which can be exterior their space of experience,” athletic director Scott Strickland mentioned. “And, you understand, they’re actually good at what they do. Dan is de facto good at calling performs.”

It’s, nevertheless, one other reminder you could take nothing with no consideration proper now. Anyplace, after all. However with school soccer specifically. 

Mullen went from begging to have a large crowd on the sport to not having the ability to coach even when the sport hadn’t already been postponed.

Florida coach Dan Mullen yells to a referee a few name throughout an NCAA school soccer sport in opposition to South Carolina on Oct. 12. (AP)

Mullen’s constructive check is the newest in a tough week for the SEC.

Alabama coach Nick Saban introduced on Wednesday that he examined constructive for the coronavirus. That might subsequently be dominated a false-positive after Saban had three unfavourable assessments. Saban is okay, which is the excellent news.

He did miss a number of days of in-person prep although as his No. 2 Crimson Tide acquired prepared for No. three Georgia on Saturday. Even when a constructive seems to be a unfavourable, the virus is a trouble.

The LSU and Florida sport had already been pushed again, after all. So too was Missouri and Vanderbilt. Florida’s Oct. 24 sport in opposition to Missouri has additionally been postponed and might be performed on Oct. 31.

Because the season goes on, the accessible dates to maneuver video games are disappearing, reducing the probability that each workforce will play the identical quantity of contests. Once more, that is soccer in 2020. 

It was simple to begin the season. Ending it has at all times been the query. Anybody who peddled one thing else was a idiot. 

The groups try, however apparently not even SEC defenses are any match for the virus. Simply on Monday, Mullen was talking confidently in regards to the Gator protocols. 

“I believe when you take a look at what we have been in a position to do, the security precautions we’ve got that our gamers have adopted, our coaches comply with, our employees follows, you understand, I believe we’re a mannequin of security of what we have been doing throughout this time interval,” Mullen mentioned. “So I am actually pleased with how we have dealt with the whole lot and the way protected we have been with the whole lot we’re doing and all of the precautions we have had in place throughout this time.”

Then the bubble broke. 

Saban theorized that touring to highway video games was what should be blamed for groups prone. In their very own services, issues had been good. Add in buses, planes, inns and a brand new surroundings and it turns into a problem. 

“As quickly as you journey, you get uncovered to much more issues and much more folks,” Saban mentioned. 

Bama performed at Ole Miss final weekend. Florida was at Texas A&M. Saban might have a degree.

Faculty soccer can and will proceed to press ahead. This season was by no means going to be excellent, anyway. No matter we get, we get. 

However that is additionally no time to turn into overconfident or dismissive of the dangers. It’s why for all of the laughs followers are having watching management freak coaches wrestle with the correct carrying of a masks on the sideline, doing so is vital, if solely so the season can proceed. And whereas younger, wholesome gamers are younger and wholesome, plenty of older coaches and assist employees aren’t.

For Florida, it’s all up within the air now. Overlook packing the Swamp. It is about hoping for the very best for the coach, his gamers and a containment of the virus.

All whereas remembering that confidence can turn into Covid, simply that rapidly. 

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