Pitt’s Narduzzi-100% Will Play College Football This Year

22 days since Panthers positive COVID-19 test

Jeff Hathhorn
July 31, 2020 - 4:09 pm
Pat Narduzzi at bowl game

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Seemingly every day a college conference is changing plans for a football season.  Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi says they will play in the fall.

“I’m confident we are going to have a season,” Narduzzi said Friday.  “Especially with the bubble we are in.  I know we are not in a NBA bubble.  I feel 100% confident we are going to play a season.”

Narduzzi said they have to think that way, because if players weren’t sure about playing, they might think they could take chances when they leave the practice facility.

“I try to use other people’s problems as examples, whether it’s Rutgers having a campus party (or what reportedly happened with the Marlins),” Narduzzi said.  “There will be some nice parties in Oakland or wherever you want to go, however if you just want to shut it down for 14 days, just let me know.  We can shut it down for 14 days and you guys can go party if you want to.” 

“So I think our guys have done an incredible job.”

The sixth year Pitt head coach praised the work of the university’s doctors and trainers for not only keeping the players safe, but educating them.  Then he has to set the tone.

“I think it starts with the leader,” Narduzzi said.  “If the leader never walks around with a mask but then tells everyone to wear a mask, but doesn’t wear one constantly.  It’s an issue.  If they see me walking around without one or I go on the field without one, it’s like ‘coach ain’t wearing one, I’m not wearing one’.  So I think it’s really the leadership in this building.”

Narduzzi admits all of the precautions and having so many changing directives is a bit much at times.

“Worried about showers, meals, who is eating next to each other, put your mask on,” Narduzzi said.  “I feel like a police officer out there.  I want to coach football.”

It’s been 22 days since a positive COVID-19 test at Pitt and as Narduzzi was telling reporters than he simultaneously knocked on wood.  Narduzzi says he tells the team that number to pump them up and tells them to keep going.

“I’m praying that everyone else is doing their job,” Narduzzi said.  “We are doing our job in Pittsburgh.  I hope everyone else is being responsible.”

“Football season is riding on how smart, how accountable you are as far as what you do off the field.”

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