The president of the University Miami said the Hurricanes “certainly hope” to have a football season this fall, but it will probably happen without fans in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Honestly, everything we do will have safety of the students as our top priority,” school president Julio Frenk said on CNN Wednesday morning. “If we don’t feel it’s safe, we won’t do it…
“They will probably play in an empty stadium, like so many other sports, but we hope to have a season, and we hope to have a winning season.”
Opposing fans have already inserted their own jokes about the usual crowds at Hard Rock Stadium. But Frenk’s voice and opinion should carry some weight.
Before taking his current position in 2015, he held jobs as the dean of faculty at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Mexico’s minister of health.
In his CNN interview, Frenk outlined Miami’s four-pronged approach to reopening this fall: Testing/tracing/tracking cases; meticulous cleaning, both with washing hands and surfaces on campus; protecting personal space, with masks and face covers as the expectation on campus; and mandatory flu vaccines to reduce overall sickness, even if a coronavirus vaccine is not yet in place.
Frenk’s comments came two days after the State University System announced its plans to reopen in the fall. Later today, the NCAA is expected to decide whether it will end a ban on athletic activities on campus. If that happens, players could resume some conditioning work on June 1.
The Hurricanes are scheduled to open coach Manny Diaz’s second season against Temple at home on Sept. 5.
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