Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach expressed his bewilderment over the NCAA rule allowing student-athletes to have an off day to go and vote in the election.
Leach said Monday he was all for allowing players to go and vote but he didn’t think the NCAA rule mandating an off day was necessary to have, according to 24/7 Sports.
“We had to alter our schedule and everybody else has to alter their schedule, too. I want everybody to vote, but I’m not a huge fan of adjusting everybody’s schedule and having national election day,” Leach said. “Everybody should vote but I don’t think they should cancel practice that day as a result because we’re in school and everybody is going to work and everybody is responsible enough to go vote.
“Worst yet, they’re going to do it every year and next year our elections in the state of Mississippi don’t even line up with that date. Anyway, we move forward and look forward to practicing this afternoon.”
Leach said he was “disappointed” in anyone who doesn’t vote.
“I would say that some (are) enthusiastic. Generally, the best description would be curious and interested on doing something they haven’t done before. I definitely think it’s positive because one of the things that we do in this country is too many people sit on their hands and aren’t as active in government. The lowest rung on the ladder is ‘go vote’ so I think everybody should. I think it’s a good thing that schools around the country are educating people on that and it’s long overdue,” he added.
Some coaches have expressed similar sentiments as Leach.
Florida’s Dan Mullen was in favor of the change but wanted to get his team together to vote Tuesday.
“We’re not allowed to do the organized team activities that day now,” Mullen said.
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly has to get his team together to prepare for Clemson on Saturday, but having an off day threw a wrench in their plans.
“Less than an ideal situation,” Kelly said.
The NCAA mandated the off day in September after a wave of student-athlete activism swept across the U.S. over the summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.