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Andy Hodges

Pittman not wasting time with speculation, just trying to win games

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman is preparing for a full season starting Sept. 5 and he said Tuesday afternoon in a Zoom conference he doesn’t know any other way to get a team ready.

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Sam Pittman was correct Tuesday afternoon when he said a lot of the media don’t seem to think there will (or should) be a college football season this year with the global pandemic.

“We’re in the winning business,” Pittman said on a Zoom conference call with the media. “So you’ll know we’re planning on Sept. 5.”

Which is probably going to happen unless something dramatic happens. In Arkansas, the governor on Tuesday gave the latest statewide numbers which now show a 98.7% survival rate from people who test positive from the virus.

That number is well over 99% for people under the age of 65. Yes, there are exceptions, but those are the overall percentages.

“We’re going off facts of what we know,” Pittman said. The coaches around the SEC meet every Thursday morning at 7:30 and the league office is in frequent contact with the member institutions.

The number to watch is the number of deaths which has dropped dramatically nationwide.

“We’re going on as planned,” Pittman said. “The media thinks we’re not going to have a season more than we do. We believe we’re going to play Sept. 5.”

Pittman didn’t announce any numbers. That information will come from athletics director Hunter Yurachek, not the coaches. It may be a little different in terms of how many fans are in the stadium and things like that, but everybody is planning to carry on with a full season that starts on time.

The “medical experts” in the media who were trying to figure out how coaches should be handling their teams at this time of the year are now predicting doom and gloom.

Everybody, including the computer models and national spokespeople, are turning into the equivalent of television weather people who look out the window, see a dark cloud and immediately issue an order to hunker down.

Pittman is aware of what people are saying in the media. You get the idea he is sort of chuckling over it to a certain extent.

“I learned a long time ago media’s very important,” he said Tuesday. “It can make your team or it can break your team if you pay a lot of attention to it.

“We can speculate for a month and some of us be right and a lot of us be wrong.”

As we said, Pittman isn’t in the business of speculating. He’ll leave that to the media experts.

His job is to win football games. Two people before him didn’t do that enough and they aren’t here.

“I’m just going off the facts the SEC commissioner tells us and we’re going on as planned to have a season Sept. 5,” Pittman said. “Honestly, I don’t know how you can prepare a team if you look at it any other way than that.”

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