Arizona Football and the importance of having all the facts!

With the Covid pandemic already creating a lot of negative news and drama in the world of sports, the last thing Arizona Football needs is more drama.

It just wouldn’t be an Arizona Football off-season without a bit of drama, and as I’m sure many have already seen, it’s the events that have transpired over the last 24-plus hours.

For those that aren’t familiar of what we’re talking about, let’s recap…

On social media yesterday, an account on Twitter called “March4Tucson” which was designed to provide information and to advocate for the Black community in Tucson, posted that “the University of Arizona is forcing athletes to play during the pandemic and if they voice their concerns, scholarships are taken away or reduced.”

The tweet of course was sparked by comments that were made from a current football player.

Now that is certainly a very serious thing to hear, considering the current situation that we live in. So naturally, the first instinct would be to at least treat the situation with severity.

However, there are just a few MAJOR things to note that are worth mentioning. First off, the Pac-12, and more specifically the University of Arizona cannot cut players or take scholarships away if any student athlete expresses concern about not wanting to play or participate in workouts amid the current state of things.

Secondly, as we learned very quickly that it was actually offensive Edgar Burrola who was the said player, and it appears as though that the information that was presented, was not presented completely truthfully.

No, in fact in an interview today with the Arizona Daily Star, head coach Kevin Sumlin clarified the decision to not only reduce Burrola’s scholarship, but actually suspended him for his actions.

Here is what Kevin actually had to say…

“There’s some people that are saying that we’re making guys do this, we’re making guys do that, what we are making them do is go through the protocol. And if you’re not gonna adhere to the protocol, then we can’t have you here” he said.

“It’s my job to protect and uphold that protocol for everybody else that’s involved in this organization — players, coaches, administrators, medical (personnel)… If you’re not gonna pay attention to the protocol, wear a mask, all that other stuff, we just can’t have you around.”

Seems like quite the stark contrast from what was initially stated, and the point I’m trying to make is, is that this is an incredibly challenging time and there is serious dangers in false rhetoric.

Social Media is a powerful tool, and with the opportunity to spread information (even false information), can have a huge impact.

We’re glad the coaches stood strong on adhering to player safety and quickly clarified the situation rather than let it spiral out of control. At Zona Zealots, we hope Edgar can get his situation and get it corrected. People make mistakes and no one is perfect, but no one needs to be starting unnecessary drama right now. As always, Bear Down, Arizona!