Even in the three Power Five conferences still moving forward with college football, some players have decided it's in their best interest to forego this season and either prepare for the NFL Draft or just stay healthy and get ready for next year. But Kansa head coach Les Miles doesn't seem to necessarily buy into the idea that opting out is making players safer.
Topeka Capital-Journal — “If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic,” Miles said at a news conference. “The last I saw it, the pandemic was worldwide, OK? So I don’t know what their advantage is to turn at this point away from what would be a good finish to a college career and opportunity to advance their abilities and then have a choice whether to go off to the NFL or to stay and compete. So we’d love to have them stay and compete.”
I get what Miles is going for here, and it actually makes some deal of sense and there's a real argument to be made in his favor. It probably is safer for most players to be with their teams that have some of the best doctors and nutritionists in the country looking out for them all the time.
But this was said following news of Jayhawks offensive lineman Antione Frazier deciding to opt out of the season, so it doesn't exactly come across great. This just goes to show that Football Guys truly can't contain themselves from saying whatever thought pops into their head at any given moment. All they know is football and if you're opting out of football, you are opting into coronavirus.
I would love to just have every FBS head coach sit down in a room with one reporter and have them be asked very basic questions about their thoughts on coronavirus which they have to answer on the record. Many of these guys are the highest-paid government employees in their respective states, so I don't think that's an unreasonable idea. Be accountable to the people. We deserve to hear what Nick Saban has to say about COVID-19.
But short of that happening, we'll just have to settle for coaches essentially telling on themselves by saying players are "opting into the pandemic." Nobody can accuse Miles of not being a Football Guy, though.