TAMPA, Fla. -- The college football season could be crumbling before our eyes — you wouldn’t know it watching USF return to the practice field Tuesday.
“It was our first time in pads since November,” USF senior cornerback Mike Hampton said. “It was our first feel for it. It was like our first time playing football.”
First time — hopefully not the last. Power-5 conferences, including the Big Ten and Pac-12, have canceled fall football amid the coronavirus pandemic with hopes of postponing the season until the spring.
“We’re a lot safer here, a lot of our players feel we’re safer here than going home,” USF senior defensive back KJ Sails said. “Our medical staff has done an unbelievable job of keeping us safe and follows the proper protocols. We feel we have a plan in place here and we can get that done.”
USF first-year head coach Jeff Scott reached out to ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger on Twitter saying those protocols are working.
After being together for meetings/walkthrough practices/lifting/conditioning for the last 2 weeks....we tested our team on Monday and found out today we have ZERO positives. Plan and protocols are working....we will continue to move forward diligently and safely #WeWantToPlay https://t.co/RQx4UanYAw
— Coach Jeff Scott (@coach_jeffscott) August 11, 2020
Meanwhile, Sails is leading the charge in the American Athletic Conference by outlining six measures for a safe return to football this season, including the development of universal health and safety-mandated protocols in the fight against COVID-19, and the support of players in their ability to create a players association.
“Us players need a voice, we should have a say so,” Sails said. “I felt that the American (Athletic Conference), we should take initiative and have our players speak out.”