Oklahoma HC Lincoln Riley on schools pushing to get players back on June 1: 'One of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard'
In the coming days, conferences and universities will have a decision to make: allow student-athletes back on campus or extend the suspension of all team activities. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is in favor of the second option.
While there’s a legitimate conversation about allowing student-athletes back on campus at the beginning of next month, Riley isn’t really a huge fan of that idea. He doesn’t believe that anything needs to be rushed at this point in time.
“In my opinion, we need to bring them in as late as we possibly can before we play a season,” Riley said, according to Jason Kersey of The Athletic. “Every day early that we bring them in is a day we could have gotten better. It’s a day we could’ve learned more about the virus. It’s a day PPE maybe gets better. It’s a day closer to a vaccine. It’s a day that our testing equipment and testing capabilities get better, and it’s just not worth it. So, we’ve gotta be patient. We got one shot at this, and we’ve gotta do it right.”
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Lincoln Riley is adamant that they shouldn't rush players back to campus. He said that schools talking about getting players back on June 1 is "one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard." #Sooners
— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) May 14, 2020
There’s been so big news out of Riley’s conference (Big 12) this week. According to a report from Rivals.com, Texas’s staff members will return to campus offices beginning next Monday with social distancing emphasized and masks recommended. Players will still not be permitted on campus.
West Virginia University President Gordon Gee said in an interview that “there will be football in the fall, even if I have to suit up.” Both are promising signs that the sport could still kick off come August.
Still, Riley does have a point. With many believing that early July would be adequate time to prepare for a college football season, that might be the safe play. It should be interesting to see what decisions are made.