Mack Brown on College Football Bubble and If They Can Follow the NBA
To some, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is a genius. His idea of a bubble has succeeded in no new COVID-19 cases since its conception and has progressively ensured the safety of the players and every aspect of the game involved.
On the other hand, the MLB has experienced multiple team outbreaks; the Marlins have experienced 18 positive cases to which Dr. Anthony Fauci warned could put the entire MLB season in danger.
There is no perfect scenario, and with so many unanswered questions, the best thing college coaches can do is try. Everyone in a sport is doing everything by trial and error. With no set game-plan, coaches are learning on the fly just as quickly as the public. Assimilating as promptly as possible due to the lives they are responsible for.
North Carolina football coach Mack Brown discussed the bubble option and whether it would be a good plan for college sports to follow.
"I think that we're all learning from baseball and men's and women's pro basketball and football will teach us something when the NFL starts coming back in soccer." The UNC head coach said, "So the bubble theory is obviously working. That's hard for us. And what we've talked to our team about is that's the only way it looks like it works is you've got to be in a bubble, even when you're up on campus".
But it's not implementing the bubble idea; it's maintaining the honesty of kids to stay within the bubble and adhere to its rules. North Carolina is expecting to allow students to return to campus, and with that comes the temptation for student-athletes to be well... college students.
"We've got 19,000 students coming back here pretty soon. So the fact that we can't put them all in a dorm and keep them there and not let them out. We can't do what the NBA has done, but at the same time, there's got to be a leadership level on your team and discipline on your team and trust right now.
The trust implies that regardless of where you are, you're not thinking of yourself, but the responsibility of a team player and putting the program first. Brown counts on his players to be disciplined and doing the right things when he can't see them.
"Some of the guys want to go home. We can't keep them from going home, but they've got to understand if they go home. You've got to wear your mask, and you got to go by the guidelines, and you got to wash your hands and keep your social distancing. And so we've told them we could make you do that around us. You've got to be disciplined enough and care enough about your teammates and your staff to do it when we're not around. And it's never been more important for you to do things right when we're not around. And that'll be a big test for our guys this weekend."
It boils down to trust, but this Carolina team seems dedicated to ensuring football happens for the fans and, most importantly, for themselves.
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