Last month before the Big Ten shut down the fall football season, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear the program was adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols and believed his team should have the opportunity to play.
“As Darryl Conway, our Chief Medical Officer and a member of the Big Ten’s Medical Advisory Group has stated, ‘I wish that others could see this model,’” Harbaugh said then.
Over two weeks later, the data is now indicating Harbaugh and U-M practiced what they preached. The football program has had zero positive coronavirus cases in the month of August.
Enormously proud of our @UMichFootball players. For the month of Aug, we administered 822 COVID tests with ZERO positive results.— Sean Magee (@UMichMagee) August 29, 2020
As @CoachJim4UM said, this isn’t easy-this is hard. We can do this as a community with discipline, respect for the virus and proper protocols #GoBlue
“Tremendous Job by our players and Staff!,” offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said on Twitter. “All while doing Football! Sports is the answer not the problem! Sports provide a safe haven and creates a culture of discipline being a part of something bigger than yourself!”
“It’s not easy but the formula is simple...respect each other and do the right things...well done guys!,” director of recruiting Matt Dudek said about the promising news.
On August 17, Michigan parents sent a letter to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and U-M president Mark Schlissel making clear they trust the program to keep their sons safe. “The Michigan football staff has taken every measure to ensure the safety and well-being of our sons,” the letter stated. “Coach Harbaugh and staff have maintained consistent communication with us through the entire process. We are well-versed in the protocols that have been established by the University of Michigan to reduce risk and maintain a safe environment. As such, we have complete trust in the coaching and medical staff at the University of Michigan.”
For a team that is clearly doing things the right way, not having an upcoming season this fall is certainly the hardest of pills to swallow.