Florida coach Dan Mullen tests positive for COVID-19 days after pleas for fans to 'Pack The Swamp'
Florida coach Dan Mullen has tested positive for COVID-19, he confirmed in a statement on Saturday.
Mullen said he’s isolating from his family and he’s experiencing “mild to no symptoms.”
Mullen’s positive test comes amid an outbreak of staff and players that’s amounted to more than 20 positive tests. Florida’s game against LSU scheduled for Saturday had already been postponed, as the school announced on Wednesday that it didn’t have enough players to play.
Mullen’s positive test comes in the wake of remarks that were dismissive of COVID-19 protocols. After a loss to Texas A&M last Saturday, Mullen suggested unprovoked in his opening statement that Florida fans should “pack The Swamp” this week, using the nickname for Florida’s stadium. He added: “Absolutely want to see 90,000 in The Swamp. Hopefully that creates a home-field advantage for us next week because now we passed a law in our state that we can do that.”
The notion of Florida filling its stadium during a pandemic was immediately shot down by both the school’s athletic director and president. Athletic director Scott Stricklin said on Wednesday that commenting on the number of fans in the stadium was outside of Mullen’s expertise. “Dan is really good at calling ball plays,” Stricklin said.
The remarks made Mullen a lightning rod on social media when the outbreak on his team and canceled game were announced.
Florida’s Oct. 24 game against Missouri has been postponed and will be played on Oct. 31.
The news about Mullen continues a miserable week for the SEC. There have been three postponed games and a false-positive test for Alabama coach Nick Saban, who is expected to expected to coach the Crimson Tide’s game with Georgia on Saturday night. Also, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said this week his program was dealing with an outbreak.
The SEC had gone three weeks without significant disruptions. The league started on Sept. 26, later than many others, with the idea that it would begin after the inevitable spikes of students returning to campus. Until this week, that approach had been successful.
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