Utah State coach: Player opt-outs ‘not an option’
The NCAA has allowed players the choice to opt out of this season and have required schools to honor the scholarships of any players who will do so.
For Utah State, however, that doesn’t appear to be an option.
“At least in our program, we don’t have an opt-out. And it’s not an option,” Aggies coach Gary Andersen said during a conference call last week, per the Salt Lake Tribune. “If you opt-out, you’re not with us.”
While Utah State’s athletics department confirmed to the newspaper that no players have opted out this season, the quote gets into a dicey area given the world’s climate during the coronavirus pandemic. It also raises an eyebrow given Andersen’s recent history of moving from school to school.
Andersen posted a 26-24 record in four seasons leading Utah State from 2009-12, including the team’s first bowl game in 14 years in 2011. After an 11-2 record produced the team’s first outright league title since 1936 in 2011, Andersen left Logan for Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin.
He went 19-7 in two seasons with the Badgers, then surprisingly departed for Oregon State. However, Andersen agreed to part ways with the program in the middle of the 2017 season having posted a 7-23 record in two-plus seasons.
Andersen spent the 2018 season as an associate head coach and defensive line coach at Utah.
The Mountain West previously voted to cancel the 2020 season in August, but the conference changed course on Sept. 24. Instead, it opted to hold an eight-game season.
The Aggies are slated to begin their season against Boise State on Oct. 24 and conclude the regular season against Colorado State on Dec. 12, playing eight straight weeks.
–Field Level Media