Manny Diaz addressing elephant in Miami football locker room

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami football team practiced on Tuesday with the coaching staff continuing to speak with the players about other conferences deciding not to play this fall.

The Miami football team continued to practice on Tuesday after news broke that the Big 10 and Pac 12 are postponing their fall football seasons. In his opening statement following practice on Tuesday, head coach Manny Diaz told the media the Hurricanes are worrying about what they can control and staying healthy.

Diaz acknowledged they are aware of the news in the rest of the country but that does not change what is happening in Coral Gables. The methods and protocols in place are setting an example to keep the Covid-19 virus away according to Diaz. With that in mind, the Hurricanes are still preparing to start the season September 10.

Diaz has taken the lead Miami athletic director Blake James and University president Julio Frenk with the transparency he has shown since spring practice was shut down in March. The evolutions of decisions have forced Diaz and his staff to focus on every day while planning for the season.

The Hurricanes football players have been able to focus on the practice fields and concentrate on their goals for the season. After five practices, the Miami football team is off to a good start according to Diaz. Diaz praised Frenk who is a global expert on pandemics and former health minister of Mexico.

Diaz reiterated their transparency with the players. Throughout the offseason, Diaz has supported his players through the evolution of the 2020 season and the Black Lives Matter movement. The trust Diaz has built with the Miami football team will prove important in the future with his current and future players.

"“Here at the University of Miami our focus is on what we can control…We’re aware of the news around going on around the country, but that doesn’t really change what’s going on here.What our players and what our staff can control is number one, staying healthy with all of the methods and protocols that we have put in place here and show an example that we can play football and we can keep this virus out of our building and at the same time we’re obviously going through our preparations for the season.This is 2020, this is a day-by-day, week-by-week year, but I am proud of our guys in terms of the way they have competed in the first five days of practice. It’s been fun to watch them play.It’s been fun to have the sanctuary of the practice fields where they can just not think about tomorrow and just be present where they are and enjoy the game that they love. It’s been fun and we’re off to a good start.”"

Diaz discussed the message they are telling the Hurricanes and continued to praise Frenk. Diaz and the Miami football team are listening to the guidance Frenk provides and how he feels. As always Diaz is trying to keep the Miami players focused on what they can control and to keep the message positive.

"“Well, we tell them what we know. You all have heard me say this before, but we are blessed with our university president. We are being guided through this by an expert in the field, so we kind of take his guidance and what he feels, whether that is the general student body coming back on campus or our ability to play football, that is what reassures all of us.It is easy to get caught up in all the negativity on the outside, but in reality does that matter to us in terms of the decisions we make when we are in the building? The decisions we make when we are not in the building? And certainly the decisions we make when we are actually out there practicing.If you really break it down, the answer is no. It is hard. It is hard for all of us. We over-communicate in this program. We address the elephant in the room every day and we are always up-front and transparent with our guys in terms of what is going on.”"

The ACC released a statement following the decisions from the Big 10 and Pac 12 on Tuesday. The conference reiterated they will be driven by medical protocols with guidance from multiple groups and organizations. Diaz was asked about Covid-19 testing and if they considering testing more than the ACC minimum requirements.

"“We are always exploring our protocols and we will certainly always match the minimum standards, but talking with our medical experts on campus, there may be more testing. You should also understand that even the ACC document is a fluid document.The guidance from the CDC wasn’t the same in July that it is in August and it may not be the same in September due to the numbers and the positivity rate and the total cases here in Dade County compared to where we were five weeks ago is a pretty dramatic turn and if we can continue the same thing five weeks from now, we are getting into the season. The whole thing is hard to predict.”"

The message from Diaz has been consistent with what James has stated during the last five months. Every day, week, month, protocols and decisions are continuing to evolve. The Big Ten and Pac 12 made the decision to play while the ACC, Big XII and SEC continue to practice to get ready for the season.

Next. Miami 2020 season still on track after ACC statement. dark

Diaz is taking the smart approach. The Miami football team has to focus on what they know right now. Changes will happen in the 29 days before Miami and UAB kickoff on September 10. The job for Diaz and his staff is to work with their players and focus on practice every day. There is too much unknown beyond that.