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Kyle Whittingham - Utah Utes Football
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Kyle Whittingham Says Utah Football Is Listening To ‘Great Medical Staff’ On Return To Play

Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes reacts in the fourth quarter against the Texas Longhorns during the Valero Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome on December 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham told ESPN College GameDay’s Rece Davis that the Utes are listening to a “great medical staff” and people who are “working around the clock” on the timetable for the program’s return to the gridiron.

Whittingham joined College GameDay on Saturday, September 12.

Along with Whittingham, head coaches Ryan Day (Ohio State) and James Franklin (Penn State) of the Big Ten and fellow Pac-12 head coach David Shaw (Stanford) joined Davis.

Along with the Pac-12 Conference, the Big Ten decided to postpone its fall football season.

Day told Davis that he thinks a mid-October start would be the latest date that his team could begin play and still compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The ESPN hosted specifically asked Whittingham what he thought “would be the best thing in terms of the PAC-12” and returning to play amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve got great medical staff and people that are gonna make those decisions,” Whittingham responded. “We’ve got guys working around the clock literally and trying to determine when it’s gonna be safe to return the play and we’re really just listening to them and adhering to whatever they recommend.”

Instead of hosting the Montana State Bobcats at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 12, Whittingham and the Utes were sidelined following the Pac-12’s decision to postpone the conference’s fall schedule.

Whittingham told College GameDay that it’s “great” to be able to watch college football despite not playing and he hopes that team’s are “able to pull this off” amid the pandemic.

“Well, first of all, we get a chance to watch college football. As head coaches we we’re very, very seldom able to sit down and watch games in their entirety and so it’s great in that respect and I’m pulling for everybody. I’m hoping everybody is able to pull this off and, and get their seasons completed. And I think that’s good for everyone if it happens and so just enjoying the football and like I said rooting for everybody to be able to stay healthy keep playing.”

In early September, the Pac-12 announced a partnership with Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic test leader, in order to carry out daily COVID-19 tests for its student-athletes that participate in “all close-contact sports.”

The conference said the project was a “major step toward the safe return of sports competition in the Pac-12.”