After an outbreak of COVID-19 emerged this week on his team, Florida head football coach Dan Mullen is tempering comments he made following last Saturday’s game against Texas A&M.
In an interview with media following the 41-38 upset loss to Texas A&M, Mullen commented that the Aggies 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."
Now, with Florida’s upcoming game against LSU rescheduled from Saturday to Wednesday after 19 people with the team have tested positive for COVID-19, Mullen has changed his tune.
"Whatever our local health officials come out and say, 'This is the number of people that we're going to allow at the game right now,' that I want to encourage those people to come in, bring the energy, bring the excitement in the stadium and help our team to win," Mullen said Wednesday morning.
Mullen apologized for his call to ‘pack The Swamp,’ saying he didn’t mean to offend anyone.
Florida has now shut down its operations, and Mullen confirmed to ESPN that two of his assistants have tested positive but both are currently asymptomatic.
"As we get more numbers, we're getting a better idea of trying to trace the origins of it," Mullen said. "We have not been able to do that.
"I would still not be surprised if one or two of them were random, and the randoms can throw you off within the [contact] tracing."