Greg Byrne, ‘Our Goal Is To Play This Fall’
Alabama Athletic Director, Greg Byrne met with the media today on a Zoom call to offer an update on the Alabama football season and where the program stands as the fall semester is about to get underway.
Byrne stated that the Big 10 and Pac-12 made the best decision they could with the information they had. He added that each area of the country is unique and he had to respect their decision to cancel the fall season.
Byrne highlighted that the university testing every student as they return to school will help to create a safer environment. Currently the university school system has processed 30,000 tests with another 30,000 tests waiting to be processed.
One of the reasons the SEC opted to move the start date of the season to September 26 was in order to see what the impact of the students returning to campus has on the communities.
Alabama still does not know the dates of each matchup this season but Byrne expressed that he expects to find out within the next week the exact order and dates that each game will be held.
When asking about the financial ramifications of having a season or not, Bryne talked about the challenges that are ahead of the program and discussed seating at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
"If we are fortunate enough to move forward and play this year. Whether we play or we don't play, there are going to be significant financial challenges for us as a department and departments throughout the country," said Byrne.
"Once we get our final schedule and we know the dates for all of our games, then we're going to unveil our ticketing plan. But I can tell you it's going to be significantly reduced. Emphasized on the significantly," said Byrne.
Byrne said that an independent group is in charge of Alabama's contact tracing and that allows them to monitor positive tests and determine who needs to go into quarantine should a positive test arise.
Byrne said the only way to get to a no-risk situation is to isolate everyone. Byrne said by aggressive testing, contact tracing, social distancing and mask wearing the program will have an opportunity to play.
Byrne highlighted the "Wear Your Mask" sign that is posted all throughout the athletic facilities.
Byrne said when a student athlete comes into the program they perform baseline cardiovascular testing for medical records, this also allows the medical team to potentially identify any particular issue that may have not been found previously in the athletes life.
"When we have any issue with viruses, and obviously COVID is a very significant virus and we take it very seriously, we're able to look and see, are there any cardio issues that come along with that and monitor that. I can tell you right now we have not had a case of myocarditis," said Byrne.
Byrne acknowledged the bumps in the road that baseball has had in its first few weeks but said that MLB has learned and gotten better from those issues. He expects learning and growth about the necessary precautions to happen in every industry, including college football.
Byrne admitted that he and Coach Saban have talked about how a national champion might be chosen this year but the current times are so fluid that he did not have a hard stance on the matter.
When asked about the possibility of spring football, Byrne responded, "there's been some discussion, not a ton....our goal is to play this fall."
To watch the entire Zoom call go to WBRC's Facebook.