Kansas’ Les Miles on players sitting over coronavirus: ‘If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic’

Kansas football coach Les Miles expressed his concerns Thursday about players who are opting out of the season over fears of the coronavirus and the health risks that come along with the illness.

Miles told reporters that players who are not participating in the football season are then opting “into the pandemic,” according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

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“If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic,” Miles said. “The last I saw it, the pandemic was worldwide, OK? So I don’t know what their advantage is to turn at this point away from what would be a good finish to a college career and opportunity to advance their abilities and then have a choice whether to go off to the NFL or to stay and compete. So we’d love to have them stay and compete.”

The Jayhawks have not reported a serious outbreak among players on the team.

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Several major schools have reported outbreaks. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said earlier this week that at least one position group was essentially wiped out after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to The Athletic. He didn’t name the position group.

The Advocate, citing sources, reported that LSU offensive linemen had to be quarantined after contracting the illness.

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The college football season is slated to begin in September for some schools. The Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 were among the top conferences to postpone their fall sports schedules.