Students have started to return to campuses across the country. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic in full bloom, that didn't stop them from throwing parties and packing into bars where they're open, causing a major issue at places like UNC and Alabama. Multiple officials, now including Nick Saban, have called for those who care about having an Alabama football season to start taking things more seriously.
North Carolina has already reversed course, opting for online-only learning this year. That comes after just days of having students back in Chapel Hill, after a number of COVID clusters popped up around campus. That may be the first significant example of the hurdles with bringing students back, but it is far from the only school dealing with them. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne was among those dismayed at the images coming from his town and University of Alabama over the weekend.
He tweeted a photo of a packed line outside the bar, with little to no mask wearing going on. Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox is also extremely upset by the images. He laid things out in a tweet responding to Byrne: "we're trying to have college football season."
"Why?" the mayor said. "We are desperately trying to protect @tuscaloosacity - We are trying to have college football season. We have been running details for 3 straight nights. @TuscaloosaPD is stretched thin between COVID-19 and these details. We will be requesting daytime help from #UAPD."
Now, Alabama football coach Nick Saban has spoken out about what is going on around Tuscaloosa. He discussed the "moral integrity" that goes into people making choices to not only protect themselves, but others around them.
College football has been thrown into disarray by the coronavirus. The SEC released its revised schedule Monday, and has every intention of playing. If we see further outbreaks in college cities across the South, that may still become untenable.
Wear a mask, everyone. As Nick Saban says, it is the smart thing to do.
Saban’s response to students not wearing masks is worth repeating pic.twitter.com/BIc8S0qg4I
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) August 18, 2020