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Game Day in the COVID Era: How Has the FSU Football Program Prepared?

“Florida State! Florida State! Florida State! Whoo!”

These are the last several lines of Florida State University’s iconic war chant shouted at all of the football games to not only get the crowd excited but to also hype up the players. The football program has always played a huge role in bringing students and alumni together as well, whether through tailgates, watch parties, cheering in the stands, or even listening to the game on the radio. For decades, thousands of students and fans have filled the seats of Doak to support the Noles, but what are the games going to look like this year with coronavirus guidelines put in place?

I sat down with student football manager Jeremy Czerenda to get all of the details about how the football program has prepared for the upcoming game and the season as a whole.

Her Campus (HC): What are the coronavirus guidelines the football program has implemented to keep the players and staff safe?

Jeremy Czerenda (JC): The program requires all individuals that enter any part of the football facilities to wear a mask at all times, except when they are seated, as well as having their temperature checked before entering. The staff and players also must receive coronavirus tests every three weeks to keep everyone safe. There is also a contact tracing protocol in place in the event that someone might test positive.

HC: What has been done to ensure the fans are “socially distanced” when they are in the stadium?

JC: Typically, the football stadium can hold a little more than 80,000 fans, but this year the program is capping spectators at around 20,000. This means the stadium will be at 25% capacity. Also, reserved seats will be set up to be six feet apart from any neighboring groups.

HC: Are the opposing teams required to do anything before the games?

JC: Any team that FSU will play in the upcoming season has to follow our established protocol for a set amount of days leading up to the game to ensure that each team will be prepared and safe regarding the spread of coronavirus.

HC: Has anything changed about the player uniforms that will aid in preventing the spread of germs?

JC: Due to the circumstances, the players are provided with additional protective gear to limit any potential exposure when coming in contact with players of the opposing team while playing.

HC: How has the way the team goes about practicing changed?

JC: Other than following all of the guidelines I just mentioned, the team practices are the same. For the most part, the program tries to have meetings through Zoom if possible, other than practices and some other events that must be in-person.

The football program has worked hard to establish guidelines for players, staff and fans in preparation for the upcoming 2020 season. If you plan on attending the game or a tailgate, remember to do your part too and wear a mask, follow the guidelines set in place, and as always, cheer on the Noles!

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Riley Kayton is double majoring in Political Science and Editing, Writing, & Media at Florida State University. On any given day you can probably find her filming for the football team, or curled up with a good book.
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