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Florida Gators' Head Coach Calls For Packed Stadium Despite Team's Numerous Positive COVID-19 Tests

Football

Gators' head coach Dan Mullen called for fans to "pack the Swamp", citing crowd noise as a reason for his team's recent loss.

October 15, 2020
SOURCE: MIKE ZARRILLI/GETTY IMAGES
SOURCE: MIKE ZARRILLI/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Last weekend, Florida head coach Dan Mullen pushed for a 100% capacity crowd at this Saturday’s game...the same game that was just postponed due to a spike in COVID-19 cases amongst the Gators. Life sure does come at you fast.

Damn. Tell me more: Mullen made the troubling “pack the Swamp” comments following a road loss to Texas A&M, a game played with over 24,000 fans in attendance. The Gators’ coach suggested crowd noise contributed to his team’s frustrating loss, leading to his v. shortsighted comments (and subsequent backtracking).

  • So far, 21 Florida players have tested positive. While there’s a possibility the outbreak is linked to their trip to Texas, some players later revealed they were experiencing symptoms prior to Saturday’s game. The audacity!

Have any other games been postponed?: Yup, Missouri vs. Vanderbilt. Fortunately, the SEC does have some scheduling flexibility, with both games being tentatively rescheduled for December 12th, a date the conference intentionally left open. But any additional postponements will make it near impossible to play the full schedule ahead of College Football Playoff Selection Day on December 20th.

I also heard a coach tested positive?: You heard right. As if the SEC wasn’t already dealing with enough, Alabama head coach Nick Saban (along with Alabama’s athletic director, Greg Byrne) tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

  • Saban’s No. 2 Crimson Tide are slated to take on No. 3 Georgia this Saturday, a marquee matchup for the SEC. Remarkably, the game is still on for now, pending players’ test results, so we’ll see how Alabama fares without their fiery leader on the sidelines.