As conferences like SEC move ahead with their plan to play football this fall, critics have said that they are putting their desire to make a profit before the safety of the players. But Alabama coach Nick Saban has pushed back against that notion, saying the players are the reason he wants the season to happen at all.
"Everybody acts like we want to play for the money," Saban told reporters. "We want to play for the players. I want to play for the players."
We could spend all day debating whether college football is returning for money or for the love of the game but ultimately, Saban believes that it is better to try to put together a season and fail than to simply give up before the season even starts.
"Now, is it more important than public safety? No, I don't think so," he said. "Is there a way that we can do that and keep people safe? I think a lot of people are trying to do that, and if we can do that, I think we can play. If we can't do that, then I think someone will make the decision that maybe we shouldn't play. But I don't think that we should not try."
Of course, finishing a season may prove to be easier said than done, as Alabama has reportedly recorded over 500 coronavirus cases among students in less than a week. If that number spreads to the football season, it's hard to imagine SEC football will last too long.