Blake James states Miami football schedule remains fluid with COVID concerns

CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FL - JANUARY 02: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

In a pair of media appearances on Tuesday morning athletic director Blake James stated the Miami football schedule remains fluid because of COVID-19 concerns.

The Miami football schedule remains fluid because of COVID-19 after the Hurricanes postponed its final three games of the season on Monday. Athletic director Blake James discussed the future of the Hurricanes football schedule in media appearances on the Joe Rose Show on WQAM and Packer and Durham on the ACC Network.

James appeared on the two flagship programs on Tuesday morning. Eleven and 13 Miami players were sidelined due to testing positive for COVID-19 or through contact tracing. With Packer and Durham, James was optimistic but realistic about Miami finishing the season and what it took to play the first eight games of 2020.

The Hurricanes have started 7-1 with the only loss at Clemson last month. Four straight wins were impressive with the number of players missing in the last three games. Six Miami football players were out due to covid for the Hurricanes win over Virginia last month. Getting the entire team ready was impressive.

Manny Diaz and his coaching staff had to have the entire team ready to play with the players missing over the last three games. In the win over Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes were missing four starters and almost did not play the game. James discussed the process and the future on Packer and Durham Tuesday.

"“This is a season where you take three tests in the nose to get to the one test on Saturday. That’s just the reality of where we’re at. It’s been a challenge the last few weeks….last week we were real close to not being able to go…It put us in a position yesterday to notify the league office that it put us in a position to not be able to play…The next few weeks…and we’re seeing it play out…the young athletes are doing the right things to be able to play. As a league, we wanted to create some flexibility to allow the schedule as we knew things were going to happen…To be able to adjust. All the teams that were impacted yesterday and coming together for the greater good of the conference to move this forward and for the young people to be able to play the game that they love.For us, a conference to meet the numbers that we have would have to be where were at today as real success if we turned the clock back to July or August….Our sports are going to be separate from each other. Classes on campus end on Friday. We won’t have cross-pollination in the facility…First thing we need to do is take care of our young people and their well-being…Will make sure our people are 100 percent clear before they are allowed back in competition. Want to make sure our guys do not have injuries because of the layoff.Hopefully, we’ll be able to start practicing the week of December 5 for Wake Forest. Not going to always have you’re entire team. In a normal year because of injuries….We will move forward and get in as many games as possible. We all felt it was aspirational (to play all 11 regular-season games)."

The quotes above came from James’ appearance on Packer and Durham. The Miami athletic director reiterated a lot of the same on the Joe Rose Show. James also mentioned that multiple women’s sports got their season in coordinated with the ACC. There is a lot left for Miami to coordinate in the next three weeks.

Miami was fortunate with some hard work from the Hurricanes football staff to get eight games in this season. It has turned into a special year with wins in seven of the eight games. Miami is better equipped than other programs to have a break in the schedule. The Hurricanes also had three weeks in between games in 2017.

Miami went on to a 10-3 season including nine straight wins following the time off in September due to Hurricane Irma. The Hurricanes began the season with a 41-13 victory over Bethune-Cookman before having to cancel a game at Arkansas State and re-schedule its game at Florida State because of Irma.

Next. Miami postpones three games in December. dark

The situation is obviously very different, but Manny Diaz and the majority of his defensive staff were on the Miami coaching staff in 2017. Dealing with COVID is new, but a significant portion of the Miami coaching staff will know how to keep their players engaged. The next three weeks will be tough for the Miami football program.