With Alabama’s football season gearing up to officially begin in roughly two months, the universities athletic director Greg Byrne is very confident that the season will happen, despite some doubts.
He discussed his feelings towards the start of the fall sports season on Alabama Athletics’ Summer Update Radio Show on Saturday,
“Our goal still, the whole time, is to have a full, regular football season and a full volleyball season and soccer season, cross country (season) here in the fall but make sure to follow the recommendations and guidelines of the health officials,” said Byrne. “And so, I’m still very optimistic about us having a football season. … We’ve been fortunate with great support by our fan base. We’re over 90 percent renewals for the year, and we’re really fortunate for that. Our goal, hopefully, is to be able to have all the season-ticket holders in there and many more.
“But I think in the coming weeks, in the next month, we’re going to have to get more granular on what that actual number will be. I think towards the end of July, early parts of August is when decision time will have to take place and see what it looks like. But we have a lot of scenarios that we’re putting together of what it can look like, both from how many people are there and what that looks like for our department and the impact of that from a financial standpoint, too.”
Since Alabama had welcomed student athletes back to campus there have been a few cases of concern from the start of summer football workouts. The Crimson Tide have had eight players test positive for COVID-19.
Despite the positive tests Byrne stressed that the school is taking every health precaution and making sure they are listening to the proper health officials.
“What we are doing is we’re reporting everything to the proper health officials, and at the same, too, we’re following the guidelines of the CDC and we’re also following all the guidelines the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama System have put together for our campus and campuses of the system,” said Byrne. “We’re being very thorough and thoughtful in doing those things.
“We’re trying to be aggressive with our testing and also contact tracing to hopefully have this be as safe as we possibly can. And it’s talking to our student-athletes and just saying, ‘Make sure you’re telling us if there’s other things we need to do to support you through this.’ … But this is really important that you follow the direction of the health officials, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Alabama is still on track to begin its season on time with Byrne and university President Student Bell stating that they have a strong plan for the season to begin in late July or early August.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77