Utah State coach Gary Andersen: COVID-19 opt outs 'not an option' - Sports Illustrated

Utah State Head Coach: Player Opt-Outs Are 'Not an Option'


Utah State head coach Gary Andersen said his players will not be permitted to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns regarding COVID-19.

The Aggies have not had a single player opt out ahead of their season opener on Oct. 24.

“At least in our program, we don’t have an opt-out. And it’s not an option,” Andersen said, per the Salt Lake Tribune's Julie Jag. “If you opt out, you’re not with us.”

Wyoming coach Craig Bohl took a different stance on player opt-outs ahead of the 2020 season.

“We respect their decision,” Bohl told the Casper Star-Tribune's Davis Potter. “What they articulated to me was a health concern. Everybody sees COVID differently, and so we supported that decision. It’s certainly going to be different for them, and it’s going to be different for us.”

The Mountain West previously voted to cancel the 2020 season in August, but the conference reversed its stance on Sept. 24, opting to hold an eight-game season

Multiple Mountain West programs have been hit by a wave of opt-outs, most recently Air Force. The Falcons dropped roughly 40 players from their roster, with most expected to sit out a semester. Those players will then tack that semester onto the end of their college career. 

Utah State finished 7–6 in 2019, Andersen's first year as head coach. The Aggies are slated to begin their season on Oct. 24 against Boise State. They will then play eight straight weeks before concluding the year on Dec. 12 against Colorado State.