Gators head coach Dan Mullen side steps question about packing the Swamp, focused on LSU

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 2:39 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Dan Mullen tried to brush away his Saturday comments to “pack the Swamp.”

The Gators head coach told reporters after Florida’s 41-38 loss against Texas A&M that he hoped that university administrators would allow full capacity at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - something allowed under Gov. Ron DeSantis phase 3 reopening order.

“I know our governor passed that rule so certainly, hopefully, the university administration decides to let us pack The Swamp,” said Mullen after commenting that the Aggie’s student section was pretty rowdy and packed behind the Florida bench. "Hopefully that create the home-field advantage for us next week, because now we’ve passed the law in our state that we can do that. "

Mullen received some major backlash nationally. It also sparked a twitter thread by Florida President Kent Fuchs saying that they continue to follow CDC guidelines, while UF athletic director Scott Stricklin told the Orlando Sentinel that he has not heard of any changes to the guidelines.

The UAA told TV20 that they will “continue to follow the guidance provided by our experts at UF Health as well as campus officials.”

Mullen says he has not been in communication with Stricklin or Fuchs about the stadium capacity.

“I’ve been preparing for LSU,” Mullen said Monday. "To be honest with you, if you were look at what we’ve been able to do, the safety precautions that we have, that our players follow, that our coaches follow, our staff follows. I think we’re a model of safety with what we’ve been doing during this time.

“So, I’m really proud of how we handled everything and how safe we’ve been with everything we’ve done and all the precautions we’ve had in place at this time.”

Texas A&M’s Kyle Field seats 102,733 . The school announced a crowd size of 24,709.

“I think Texas A&M actually, they created a great atmosphere at the game, created an exciting atmosphere, you know? I thought they did a great job of doing that. You know, and, so, like I said, I haven’t talked to people because I’ve been really focused on trying to beat LSU. But, you know, whatever our government officials all say and what everybody does for the game, what we do need to do is however many people they allow into the stadium, we need to try to work as hard as we can - all the Gator fans and all of us - to create the best game-day atmosphere we can.”

The Swamp can seat a little over 90,000, however, Florida is capping the attendance at 17,000 - 15,120 people watched the home opener against South Carolina.

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