Big 12 News

Les Miles: Players opting out because of COVID-19 are opting ‘into the pandemic’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days

There has been plenty of discussion of late as to whether or not college football players are safer from COVID-19 playing football or not playing football. There’s a strong argument to make that the players are better off on campus where they are constantly tested and much more “in a bubble” than they are in the real world.

Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles agrees with that assessment.

Miles spoke with with reporters and went one step further, saying players choosing to opt out of the season are making life more dangerous for themselves.


“If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic,” Miles said, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. “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.”

So far, KU has had one player, offensive lineman Antione Frazier, opt out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns and he has entered the transfer portal. All in all, about 50 players at the Power 5 level have opted out of the upcoming season, including the most notable Big 12 player, Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks.  

With the Big 12 Conference preparing to start its season in just over two weeks, it’s expected the conference will be testing players for COVID-19 at least three times per week.

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