Republican Senate candidate and former college football coach Tommy Tuberville made his case for having a college football season during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing.”
Reacting to the Pac-12 and Big 10 postponing their seasons because of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 so far determined to proceed, Tuberville told anchor Dana Perino “there’s no doubt” that “we’ve got to play football.”
“I know this is serious,” the Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate told Perino. “The virus is serious. I’ve had friends sick, in intensive care. I actually lost a friend. Let me tell you for every one person that’s been sick, 33 people in this country have been affected economically, socially, mentally.”
“We’ve got to get back to a normal life,” Tuberville insisted. “We put men on the Moon. We have got to be able to put our kids in a school, keep them protected, be socially responsible but we’ve got to get back to school and get back to a normal life.”
Tuberville and Perino discussed the bubble models employed by the NBA and NHL, with the former Auburn coach making the point that some form of isolation is already happening on college football teams.
“The high school kids and college kids all summer have been working with each other, against each other, dressed in dressing rooms,” he said. “They’ve been around each other. It’s like a big family. There’s nobody more protected than college athletes and really high school athletes. They’ve got doctors. They’ve got ways to wash their clothes, they’re disinfected.”
The former coach described how his teams have always had to “fight” flu and staph infections that are always “going to be there.”
“They’re going to be there forever and we have got to fight back against this virus,” said Tuberville. “If it hits us hard, we’ve got to take a step forward and we can’t keep moving backwards. What if this thing is with us three years from now? We have got to try to move this country forward, and what better way, go back to school, protect our kids.” (RELATED: Trump’s Newest Coronavirus Adviser Wants College Football To Happen: ‘There’s No Reason To Shut Down Out Of Fear’)
After saying that going back to school or to sports should always be optional, Tuberville stressed the importance of getting “back to a normal life.”
“But protection is the number one key, and people are going the get infected and we can’t back up from it,” he said, referring to how players who had the flu were taken out when he was coaching.