Alabama football coach Nick Saban spoke with ESPN on Monday following reports that both the PAC-12 and Big Ten are close to canceling their 2020 college football seasons.
In an interview with Chris Low, Saban detailed his opinion that student-athletes are safer on college campuses with their teams rather than being sent back home.
"I want to play, but I want to play for the players' sake, the value they can create for themselves," Saban told ESPN. "I know I'll be criticized no matter what I say, that I don't care about player safety. Look, players are a lot safer with us than they are running around at home. We have around a 2 percent positive ratio on our team since the Fourth of the July. It's a lot higher than that in society. We act like these guys can't get this unless they play football. They can get it anywhere, whether they're in a bar or just hanging out."
Earlier on Monday, reports began to surface that both the PAC-12 and Big Ten conferences were very close to canceling their respective teams' football seasons due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The news came just one week after both conferences announced their restructured, conference-only schedules.