LSU head coach Ed Orgeron isn’t ready to give up hope on the 2020 season, telling Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday that “football is the lifeblood of our country.”
Orgeron made his appeal to Pence at an education roundtable on Tuesday just as several schools have already made plans to cancel fall athletics in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I don't think we can take this away from these players, take this away from our state and our country. We need football," the defending national championship coach said, according to USA Today.
"Football is the lifeblood of our country in my opinion. It gets everything going, it gets the economy going, the economy of Baton Rouge, the economy of the state of Louisiana."
But LSU is facing an upward battle in the fight against COVID-19.
The state recorded its second-straight day of more than 2,000 new cases on Wednesday, totaling 84,131 cases. There were 14 new deaths reported.
Despite this, Orgeron expressed confidence in the university’s measures to ensure the safety of student-athletes.
“We spent a week educating them on COVID-19. I don't think any other team in the country was more educated than we were," he told the Vice President. "We have not had one kid catch the virus working out in our training room. It's sterile. We clean it everyday. Everybody gets tested."
Pence seems onboard with the idea saying “I’m very confident that our universities can develop plans to safely reopen campuses and restart sports program,” USA Today reported.