'We need football': Coach O appears on national TV to talk fall sports
BATON ROUGE - Coach Ed Orgeron told Fox News Wednesday that he "couldn't imagine" the effect on LSU's football program if the team were forced to skip the 2020 season because of the coronavirus.
LSU's championship-winning coach appeared live on 'America's Newsroom' to talk the likelihood of starting the college football season on time, as well as how safe game days would be for players and fans.
"They're going to tell us what we can do. We're going to follow the proper protocol," Orgeron said. "If we can do it safely, we can't wait to start the season."
University President Thomas Galligan said during a video conference Tuesday that campus life will look much different next semester, including a potential mask requirement that could extend to football games if fans are allowed back in Tiger Stadium.
"That's the best place in the world to play on Saturday night. Again, we'll follow the rules," Orgeron said. "But I think eventually the fans are gonna be in the stands. Eventually we'll get back to normal."
The Southeastern Conference announced last week it would allow student-athletes to return to campuses for voluntary athletic activities starting June 8.
While the SEC's announcement is another step toward normalcy, there's still uncertainty whether football will be able to return this year. When asked about the possibility of skipping the season entirely, Coach O told Fox he believes it would have a ripple effect on the whole area.
"I'm gonna be honest with you. The money we get from the TV contract, the money we get from the fans in the stadium fuels everything around here," Orgeron explained. "And as you know, Baton Rouge on a Saturday is hopping. There's tailgating. The restaurants are full. The hotels are full. The economy is booming. So it would be a big blow to not only our universities but also the economy. I do believe we need football."
You can check out Coach O's full interview on Fox News below.
WATCH: @SandraSmithFox speaks to @Coach_EdOrgeron about the future of college sports after the NCAA Division 1 says it will allow voluntary on-campus workouts for football and basketball to resume on June 1st #nine2noon pic.twitter.com/ae04vByQ1r— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) May 27, 2020