This Tuesday across the country, college football programs everywhere will shut down.
If somehow you weren’t aware, Tuesday is Election Day and a new NCAA rule mandates student-athletes be given the day off to be able to perform their civic duty, unencumbered by practices, film sessions and workouts.
The rule isn’t making life easy for coaches, especially those whose teams are on short weeks, like Utah State.
“I think it is a good thing. It gives people (the opportunity to vote). It is different in some states, where it is more mail-in (ballots), but to have a well-rounded rule that says this is what we are doing, I think it is great.” — Utah State coach Gary Andersen
The Aggies played San Diego State this past Saturday night in Logan, and on Thursday will be in Reno to take on Nevada.
With an 0-2 record to start the season, losing practice time is not ideal for the Aggies, but head coach Gary Andersen is in full support of the NCAA’s Election Day ruling.
“I think it is a good thing,” Andersen said. “It gives people (the opportunity to vote). It is different in some states, where it is more mail-in (ballots), but to have a well-rounded rule that says this is what we are doing, I think it is great. I think it is great for where we are sitting and the times that we are in.”
USU’s coaching staff has been proactive this year in teaching and preparing their players to vote, if they so choose.
“We pushed with our kids, and tried to educate them about the whole voting process long ago, not just right now,” explained Andersen. “We’ve gone through that and helped them go through the process of how to do it. We aren’t saying you have to vote, that is not America, but we’ve educated them. I think having the day off shows the world that we are putting our money where our mouths are. Actions speak louder than words.”
As for his team’s preparation on a short week, Andersen believes the Aggies will be OK.
They practiced Sunday — “We don’t like to do that, but we did,” Andersen explained — and going forward the rest of the week, Monday becomes Wednesday, Thursday becomes Friday, etc.
“That is a tangled web that you have to deal with,” said Andersen, “but whether you are going though adversity or great times, it is what it is and you have to make the best of it.”