UNC's Mack Brown still confident football season will happen this fall

Mark Armstrong Image
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
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UNC's Mack Brown still confident football season will happen this fall

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Mack Brown wasn't at all surprised about the clusters of COVID-19 that caused UNC to shut down in-person schooling.

"I don't think yesterday affects us much in any way. I'm a little surprised that people are surprised that students are going to have some positives. I mean it's happening everywhere in the country, and then we've got 19,000 students, and 150 have shown positives. I thought that was a rather low number for initially coming back," Brown said.

He also doesn't seem that concerned. The blunt reality is that fewer people on campus is better for the prospects of football.

WATCH: Mack Brown's full press conference

"Not going to classrooms, that helps us create a better seal around our program in a better bubble. The NBA model is working. They've had very few distractions. And that's what we're trying to do."

That of course accentuates the fundamental differences for better and worse between being a football player and being a regular student.

"There's obviously a big difference. Our guys they feel safe. They've got doctors; they've got trainers; they've got nutritionists; they've got coaches; they've got people around them all the time, and we're talking to them and counseling them all the time. Like I said, we're reaching out to their parents. It's easier to do that with 120 guys than it is (with) 19,000."

Brown said testing turnaround time for his team has improved dramatically, from 7-10 days to 24 hours. They're testing once a week. He's eager to see the new saliva testing breakthroughs hopefully come to Carolina.

"Until then it's business as usual in a highly unusual time. We all have to be really generous to each other, and they need to help all these young people with the rules but they also need to help athletic directors who are struggling and chancellors. We need to give everybody the benefit of the doubt right now, and just try to get through this," Brown said.