Camp Notes: Dino Babers awaits opt-out decisions from multiple players

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The media won’t have access to Syracuse’s training camp practices this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the football team is organizing regular Zoom interviews with head coach Dino Babers and select players while also providing film from the Ensley Athletic Center. With “Camp Notes,” The Daily Orange’s beat reporters bring the latest news, observations and analysis as the Orange gear up for an unprecedented 2020 season. Follow along here and on Twitter.The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.Less than a month before Syracuse football is scheduled to take the field for its first game at North Carolina, head coach Dino Babers still doesn’t know which of his players will be playing this season and which will opt-out. The Orange have had only one player, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Cooper Dawson, opt-out so far. But Babers has said on numerous occasions that multiple players are still “on the fence.” He’s not sure who will be available, though quarterback Tommy DeVito, fullback and tight end Chris Elmore, defensive back Andre Cisco and offensive lineman Airon Servais have all said they intend to play the 2020 season, if it happens.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“From a teammate standpoint, all I can do is respect their decision, listen to what they have to say, listen to their reasons,” Elmore said on teammates potentially opting-out. “They’re making decisions as grown men, what they feel is best for them and their family and their future.”The NCAA’s Board of Governors will meet Friday to determine if players who opt-out of the 2020 season will be granted another year of eligibility. While the NCAA’s council recommended granting the extra year, it’s not official yet, leaving players unsure of their decision, Babers said. The head coach said he’s taken multiple polls to see who’s in and who’s out, but the situation is fluctuating daily.“I’ve taken a poll, and the poll is always changing,” Babers said. “Some is over COVID-19, some is uncertainty over what the options are because those options haven’t come down from above us.”With classes at SU beginning Aug. 24, students from states across the country are completing their quarantine periods and arriving on campus.“That’s going to be the real key,” Babers said about students returning. “During the day time, you look at young people, they do a fantastic job. What they do at night affects what happens during the day.”The PAC-12 and Big Ten cited health concerns — most notably myocarditis, which was present in multiple athletes — as one reason for postponing their fall football seasons last week. When media asked DeVito last week if myocarditis specifically came up, he said no, but that in general, athletic staff had presented medical concerns to him. Babers said Monday that players and their families have discussed the health risks of the virus with medical experts.“It’s like anything else. We know the risk of it all,” DeVito said. “Obviously not to the fullest because it is a new virus. The medical teams are still trying to figure things out because nothing is 100%.”He added: “We have not spoken about what’s been going on with those Big Ten athletes.”Babers credited his players for holding SU Athletics accountable on the testing shortfall. Director of Athletics John Wildhack stated Friday that SU will be testing its athletes once per week, instead of every other week as it had done before. A miscommunication between the staff and the athletes on this protocol led to them sit out practices last week until it was cleared up and the players were tested. Once the season begins, each athlete will be tested three times per week, starting the week of Sept. 7. The Orange announced Friday that they didn’t have any active COVID-19 cases among their entire athletic department and that the football team has had five positive cases since the summer training program began.Before the season can begin, though, Friday’s NCAA decision on future eligibility could be the latest turning point on the status of the 2020 football season. Published on August 17, 2020 at 3:17 pm Contact Anthony: amdabbun@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more