Tennessee Vols head head coach Jeremy Pruitt announced something on Monday that might ruffle a few feathers, but I think the third-year UT head coach is making the right call.
Pruitt spoke with reporters via a virtual media session on Monday and he was questioned about how Tennessee would handle players who are out due to COVID-19 this fall.
The former Alabama defensive coordinator told reporters that Tennessee won’t be releasing how many players are out due to COVID-19.
Jeremy Pruitt says they’re not going to release each week the exact number of players that won’t be available due to COVID.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) September 21, 2020
I assume this means the Vols also won’t be publicly naming any player that contracts COVID-19.
This is absolutely the right way to handle this. At the end of the day, these are still college kids. They deserve some privacy.
Plus, if Pruitt were to announce that a player had COVID-19, I’m sure plenty of fans (likely opposing fans) would be in a hurry to suggest that the player was somewhere they weren’t supposed to be.
Which isn’t fair. Plenty of responsible folks have tested positive for COVID-19.
This is what’s best for the college athletes that are playing on Saturdays. This is what protects them. And ultimately, that’s what the sport is all about.
Fans don’t need to know who is COVID-19 positive and neither do reporters (though I’m sure some reporters will be quick to “break” the news).
It’s no surprise that Pruitt is handling this the right way. He’s yet to have a misstep as Tennessee’s head coach (off the field at least) and I expect that to continue.
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports