LSU’s Orgeron: We need football

Ed Orgeron, head coach of national champion LSU, wants football season to be played in the fall.

“We have our team back, ready to go. We need football,” Orgeron said at a roundtable discussion in Louisiana that included Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence spoke at length about getting students back to school, including college campuses, despite a recent surge in cases of the coronavirus in Louisiana.

But the college football season appears to be in peril as the number of positive COVID-19 tests and hospitalizations rises in multiple states. Louisiana is one of them.

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey held a meeting with all 14 member institutions on Monday and said his level of concern for the 2020 football season is “high to very high.”

Sankey said there is time for things to turn around, but a conference-games-only model could be adopted by the SEC for this season. It’s also possible the college football season will be shifted to springtime.

“We need to play. This state needs it. This country needs it,” Orgeron said as Pence applauded.

LSU has already tussled with the coronavirus as football players returned to campus for voluntary workouts.

At least 30 players were forced to quarantine, some as a precaution. Shelly Mullenix, senior associate athletic director of health and wellness at LSU, said no one in the program experienced “anything even close to a bad illness.”

Orgeron said he is confident the coronavirus “can be handled.”