Andy Katz Expects Fans Will Have To Wear Masks At College Football Games This Fall

College football appears as if it will happen this fall in the United States, but fans may have to wear masks to get into games when the season starts Aug. 29.

That’s what veteran college sports reporter Andy Katz believes.

“I think we’re going to have to have masks in the stadium. I do think it will be required initially,” Katz, now with NCAA.com and Fox, said Friday on The Paul Finebaum Show. “I think in September — unless things change, and I hope they change — I’m going to say initially, yes, it will be required for entrance all over the country. That’s just my prediction.”

As of early Saturday morning, there were 1.64 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., and more than 96,000 deaths.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow football and basketball student-athletes to participate in on-campus voluntary athletics activities beginning June 1, as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed. On Friday, the Council voted to allow voluntary athletics activities in all Division I sports beginning June 1.

“There is a lot of concern on campus about getting this right and doing things safely,” said Division I Competition Oversight Committee Chair Lynda Tealer, who is also the executive associate athletics director at Florida. “We are equipped to do that.”

Katz is among many who believe wearing masks is an essential part of being safe and minimizing the risk of spreading the virus.

“I’m just going to say that I think to have a mass gathering — more than 50, 100 people — I wish we didn’t have to,” he said. “I’m not a fan, I don’t like wearing them. But I have to because that’s what’s required to go into a grocery store, so I’m doing what I’m supposed to.

“I just think in a mass gathering — you’re talking about 10,000, 20,000 people — I think that’s what will happen initially. I’m hopeful it will fade as we go deeper into the fall. I could be wrong and I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong on this one. But I just think at this juncture, here in mid-to-late-May, I think that’s what they’re thinking.”

He isn’t alone. Alabama coach Nick Saban did a PSA this week while wearing a mask and encouraging others to do so as well.

“All of us want to make sure we play football this fall,” Saban said in the ad. “And to make that happen, we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash your hands often, follow all social-distancing guidelines, and please wear a mask anytime you’re around other people.”

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