It was a strange Monday morning around Virginia Tech as former All-ACC cornerback Caleb Farley spoke to NBC’s Peter King in his Football Morning in America column and had a few things to say about his alma mater.
Farley, of course, became the first college football player to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about COVID-19. Farley, entering his redshirt junior season, lost his mother to breast cancer in 2018 and was concerned about the upcoming season.
In King’s column, Farley spoke at length about why he opted out of the 2020 season.
This year at Virginia Tech, at our workouts, I started having deep concerns about staying healthy. Guys were going home, going to Myrtle Beach, coming back to campus, and we weren’t getting tested. We’re all together, working out, close to each other, and you have no real idea who might have it, if anybody might have it. One day I looked around, and we were like 100-deep in our indoor facility, no masks. My concern grew more and more.
Farley then spoke about when he went to head coach Justin Fuente’s office to inform him of his decision.
People say I could have waited till the NCAA canceled the season and then just not play. Or play a few games and then announce I was opting out. But I couldn’t do that. I knew what I had to do. So last Monday night, I went to Coach Fuente’s office. I was so nervous. I just took a deep breath and told him my decision. He tried to talk me out of it. But I was firm. What I will always respect about Coach Fuente is, he said he loved me and will always be a Caleb Farley fan. That meant the world to me.
Twitter, of course, took Fuente’s comments about him trying to convince Farley to stay as another sign that Fuente is bad for Virginia Tech. Please.
Any coach in American would have tried to convince an all-conference performer and future NFL player to stay. Farley himself indicated how much he appreciated and respected Fuente.
Later in the day, Fuente released a statement in support of Farley and Virginia Tech’s testing policies amidst the pandemic.
Fuente’s statement was loving, strong and to the point. He mentioned how important Farley was to him and that he understood his personal concerns. He also noted how seriously he took his position as head coach of Virginia Tech and that the health of every athlete was his biggest concern.
Kudos, Coach Fuente.
Fuente handled this well. And Farley’s comments didn’t condemn Virginia Tech, but instead the nature of college athletes. You can’t keep college athletes in a bubble. That concerned Farley.
You think Virginia Tech football players are the only ones in America going to the beach or parties?
Don’t be naive.
If college football is going to be played this fall, it is going to take a concerted effort by each and every team, coaches and players to be safe at all times.
With the recent outbreaks in Major League Baseball, the concern is real about the upcoming college football season.