wjxt logo

Mullen won’t get his wish for full Swamp when LSU comes to visit

Florida head coach Dan Mullen looks at the scoreboard during the second half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux,Pool) (John Raoux, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The University of Florida won’t be filling the Swamp with a full house any time soon.

A day after football coach Dan Mullen said he hoped that Florida administration would allow capacity restrictions to be lifted for Gators home games, the school put the brakes on any such hope.

Instead of the near 90,000 capacity that Mullen asked for very publicly following a loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, Florida is staying put at 20%. That means Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will remain with room for roughly 17,000 fans for Florida’s next game against LSU on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

School president Kent Fuchs said on Sunday that the university will continue to follow the protocols it has been in the first three weeks of the season.

“The  University of Florida remains fully and firmly committed to following CDC guidelines for every part of our campus from classrooms to athletic venues as well as the guidance of our own experts at UF Health and local and state health officials,” Fuchs said in a statement.

“This includes physical distancing by ensuring 6 feet between yourself and others and wearing a mask or cloth face covering. Although adherence to the guidelines restricts our behavior and limits the occupancy of our facilities, these preventative measures remain the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.  It is important that all members of the UF community and our campus visitors follow this guidance.”

Mullen made a very public case for a full house after Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M, saying that Aggies fans made a huge difference in the outcome and thought it was only fair that the Gators should have that, too. Mullen said that he hoped that Florida would heed the words of Gov. Ron DeSantis and allow crowd capacity restrictions to be lifted.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.