Florida head football coach Dan Mullen is frustrated not only with his team but with the ongoing pandemic, and he’s hoping that packing the team’s stadium with fans next weekend will alleviate at least one of the aforementioned problems.
In an interview with media following Saturday’s 41-38 upset loss to Texas A&M, Mullen commented that the Longhorns had a home-field advantage.
"It was a great day of football, great atmosphere out there,” Mullen said, according to Sports Illustrated. “[The] crowd was certainly a factor in the game, I will certainly say that.
"I know our governor passed that rule so certainly, hopefully, the university administration decides to let us pack The Swamp ... Hundred percent, because that crowd was a major factor in the game, and so, I certainly hope our university administration follows the governor. Our governor has passed a rule that we're allowed to pack The Swamp. We have 90,000 in The Swamp to give us that home-field advantage that Texas A&M had today."
Mullen was referring to Florida governor Ron Desantis’ move to allow all stadiums in the state to return to full capacity.
Following the governor’s new order, the University of Florida said in a tweeted statement that it would continue “to follow guidance provided by our experts at UF Health as well as campus officials.”
Mullen’s call “pack The Swamp” seems to ignore the fact that 214,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, with over 7.7 million people infected this year.
Sports Illustrated reported that Mullen was given the chance to temper his comments, which he declined to do.
"Absolutely want to see 90,000 in The Swamp," said Mullen. "The section behind our bench, I didn't see an empty seat. It was packed. The entire student-section — must have been 50,000 people behind our bench going crazy. So, hopefully, like I said, hopefully that create the home-field advantage for us next week, because now we've passed the law in our state that we can do that. "