Ed Orgeron is all about playing football this fall. The LSU head coach discussed the future of the sport at an education roundtable with Vice President Mike Pence and expressed his concern with football being canceled this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SEC hasn't made a decision on playing games in 2020, but Orgeron has made his stance very clear.
"I don't think we can take this away from these players, take this away from our state and our country. We need football," Orgeron said via USA Today. Orgeron went on to say: "Football is the lifeblood of our country in my opinion. It gets everything going, the economy of Baton Rouge, the economy of the state of Louisiana." Orgeron also talked about educating his players on COVID-19. He said no other team in the country "was more educated than we were. We have not had one kid catch the virus working out in our training room. It's sterile. We clean it every day. Everybody gets tested."
Pence said that he and the national champion head coach privately discussed issues the schools and athletic departments are facing this fall. He said, "I'm very confident that our universities can develop plans to safely reopen campuses and restart sports programs." Orgeron will know more about the football season when SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will make a decision on how the conference will approach fall sports in late July. The good news is the coronavirus cases in SEC athletes are dropping.
"Yeah, that’s correct and down to zero," Sankey said to radio host Clay Travis on dropping positive cases. "Our programs are obligated to report locally and to their health officials. They do that appropriately and there has been learning." Sankey also said he will be following what the NFL does as players will report to training camp in the next few weeks. He said: "The start of NFL training camp is an important opportunity for us to view with football practice taking place. We've got time before our practices are scheduled to adjust."
LSU fans likely agree with Orgeron as they saw the team have a memorable 2019 season. The Tigers won the national title, thanks in large part to Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, Burrow threw for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, and only six interceptions last season.