Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year three times.
Pittman: Razorbacks are 89% vaccinated
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman directs his players Saturday, April 3, 2021, during a scrimmage at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. Visit nwaonline.com/210404Daily/ for the photo gallery.
HOOVER, Ala. The covid-19 vaccination rate for the University of Arkansas football team has to rank among the best in the nation.
The rate is one of six in the SEC over 85%, the threshold at which mask wearing is not a requirement inside team settings and mandatory testing does not have to take place for all players.
“Our players are currently vaccinated at 89%,” Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said during his appearance at SEC Media Days. “Our building is a little over 92% covid vaccinated.”
Pittman said that kind of vaccination rate looms large.
“There’s a lot of different reliefs,” he said. “One’s for the kids, one’s for their parents, one’s for their grandparents, and people that are around. The vaccination’s certainly isn’t 100%, even if you get [the shot], we understand that. But it’s certainly 0 if you don’t.
“So we’re very excited about that. We’re relieved about that. In our building there’s not a need at this moment to wear a mask and we’re going on as business as usual. Certainly the ones who haven’t been vaccinated are still taking the covid test.”
Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan said the rate plays to the Hogs’ advantage.
“When [SEC Commissioner] Mr. [Greg] Sankey came out and said they’re going to have to forfeit if they can’t go, that’s good,” Morgan said. “That’s a good thing for us because we’re ready. We don’t have to forfeit a game. We’re at like 90 or 88% on our vaccination rate.
“That’s something we can use to our advantage. I think [Alabama Coach Nick] Saban said the same thing last year here or on Zoom or wherever. He said someone’s going to take advantage of this covid year. It’s the same thing this year: Someone’s going to take advantage of what’s going on. We’ve got to be that team, to do everything right and put ourselves in a chance to win every single game.”
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