first_imgThe Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The media won’t have access to Syracuse’s training camp practices this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the football team is organizing regular Zoom interviews with head coach Dino Babers and select players while also providing film from the Ensley Athletic Center. With “Camp Notes,” The Daily Orange’s beat reporters bring the latest news, observations and analysis as the Orange gear up for an unprecedented 2020 season. Follow along here and on Twitter.At least 100 students, some without masks, gathered Wednesday night on the Quad. The students’ behavior is exactly what Syracuse football players have been worried about for weeks.“I feel like that was something that was inevitable,” junior defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu told reporters Thursday via Zoom. “When you have a bunch of people coming back on campus, there’s obviously going to be some people that don’t follow the rules.”SU is conducting a full investigation of last night’s gathering. The university’s Stay Safe Pledge prohibits gatherings of over 25 people and includes penalties that range from disciplinary probation to suspension and expulsion.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“As a team, we’re not happy to see it,” senior defensive end Kingsley Jonathan said. “I just hope that the incoming freshmen could be smarter about their decisions they make and try to keep themselves safe and the campus safe for everybody.”The Syracuse football team has been on campus since early June, practicing social distancing and following strict health guidelines during voluntary workouts and training camp. Offensive lineman Airon Servais said Aug. 6 that the team wants to set an example for the rest of the student body by wearing masks and behaving responsibly.After seeing the videos from the Quad, Jonathan hopes his teammates take as many online classes as possible. When he has to be on campus, he’ll always wear a mask and try to avoid people.SU Athletics doesn’t release numbers for COVID-19 test results, but head coach Dino Babers has repeatedly touted the team’s discipline and the program’s success in preventing infections. No athlete or athletics staff member tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 2 and Aug. 11. But no matter how diligent athletes are, Babers and players have expressed concern over how the rest of campus will abide by rules laid out in SU’s Stay Safe Pledge. Babers has previously said what students do at night could jeopardize the football season.“That’s going to decide if we play or not,” Babers said Aug. 17.The same freshmen on the Quad last night could be in the same classroom with football players Monday, when the semester begins. They could rub shoulders while buying books in Schine or waiting for a smoothie. Published on August 20, 2020 at 2:49 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman “It’s going to be hard to keep (COVID-19 infections) under control” when the rest of the student body returns, junior safety Andre Cisco, a leader on the team, said Aug. 6.“College students are here with no parents, so it’s always hard to keep college students under control,” Cisco said. “It’s going to take the whole community being disciplined to let us work. Then, on our part, we’re going to have to be disciplined and choose wisely on what we go to and who we hang out with outside of the team to keep this under wraps.”Cisco’s remarks came two weeks ago, when athletes and athletics staff were among the few people on campus. Two weeks from now, on Sept. 3, college football season kicks off without the Big Ten and Pac-12. Syracuse’s season opener, for now, is set for Sept. 12 at North Carolina — where campus shut down earlier this week due to clusters of COVID-19 cases. Another 2020 Syracuse opponent, Notre Dame, has also shut down. Servais told reporters earlier in the week that he hopes SU learns from the mistakes in Chapel Hill and South Bend. He, like most athletes, wants to play safely.Last night’s Quad gathering shows how incredibly fragile a return to normalcy is and how incredibly predictable decisions can ruin the future of fall sports. Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more