Over the past two months, several prominent Big Ten players have opted out of the 2020 season because of coronavirus concerns. Some have even opted back in.
At Indiana, meanwhile, Tom Allen hasn’t had to deal with any roster movement.
“I understand everyone has personal reasons for why they have or haven’t in other places,” the IU coach said. “We haven’t had anyone here.”
We’ll see if that holds in the ramp up to next month’s regular season. During fall camp version 1.0 in early August, Allen said he hoped to oversee an atmosphere where players didn’t feel pressured to play if they had concerns. In recent months, at least a few players have approached Allen with questions about the season and the process for opting out, but none have gone that route.
“We’ve had some conversations with our guys,” Allen said. “In the beginning, guys were just like, ‘Coach, what is this going to look like.’ They knew they hadn’t gotten great preparation like they usually do or wanted to going into their senior season. So a couple of those guys came to me and we talked it through and at that point, (the conversation was), ‘Let’s just see how this is going to play out.’ No one ever came to me and said, ‘Coach, I’m not doing this.’ You never know.”
Indiana began a new daily, rapid testing program on Thursday. For now, those tests are being supplied by the university. Within the next two weeks, the Big Ten will step in and provide the daily tests.
“That gives us a ton of confidence in the fact that we can begin this preparation process in the way it needs to be done and be able to keep a clean, healthy field of guys that we are going to be around every single day,” Allen said. “It will definitely bode well for our future.”