Lincoln Riley Rips SEC's Plan to Rush Student Athletes Back to Campus

Lincoln Riley
Lincoln Riley at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - LSU v Oklahoma | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Lincoln Riley didn't mince words on Thursday, as he ripped plans to rush student-athletes back to campus in a few weeks.

SEC presidents are set to vote on bringing student-athletes back to campus on June 1. Riley blasted that idea during a call with reporters Thursday. He called it, "one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard."

Here's what Oklahoma's head football coach said about bringing his players back to campus:

In my opinion, we need to bring them in as late as we possibly can before we play a season. Every day early that we bring them in is a day we could have gotten better. It's a day we could've learned more about the virus. It's a day PPE maybe gets better. It's a day closer to a vaccine. It's a day that our testing equipment and testing capabilities get better, and it's just not worth it. So, we've gotta be patient. We get one shot at this, and we've gotta do it right.

It's hard to argue with Riley's thinking here. There's no need to rush student-athletes back to campus this summer. Student-athletes aren't essential workers, they aren't even employees, they're students. Every effort should be made to shield them from contracting COVID-19. That would include social distancing and not forcing them to gather in groups until the world is far safer than it is now.

Riley deserves credit for speaking up with an opposing viewpoint as momentum builds for football to be back as soon as possible. As one of the best coaches in college football, his voice carries weight. Hopefully some of the power brokers rushing to put kids back on campuses.