An offensive lineman at Arizona has been suspended by the team for a violation of its coronavirus protocols.
Like many schools, Arizona’s athletic department has instituted social distancing and mask-wearing procedures to try to keep players safe as sports attempt to start during the COVID-19 pandemic. Edgar Burrola, a redshirt junior, is now away from the team because of what the Arizona Daily Star termed “resistance” to the athletic department’s coronavirus rules.
In an interview with the Daily Star, coach Kevin Sumlin indirectly addressed Burrola’s suspension.
“There's some people that are saying that we're making guys do this, we're making guys do that,” Sumlin said. “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.
“It's my job to protect and uphold that protocol for everybody else that's involved in this organization — players, coaches, administrators, medical (personnel). You've got coaches’ families.
Yahoo Sports has reached out to Burrola via Twitter direct message for comment and had not heard back at the time of this post despite his public plea in the interim for another media outlet to call him so he can share his side of the story.
Burrola has been incredibly outspoken about his suspension on Twitter. His background picture is a purported text message to teammates saying he’s been suspended. He also retweeted this post that alleged a player at Arizona had been suspended for not feeling safe playing in a pandemic.
The University of Arizona is forcing athletes to play during the pandemic and if they voice their concerns, scholarships are taken away or reduced. THESE PLAYERS ARE AT RISK AND BEING SILENCED BY THE UNIVERSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SPREAD SPREAD SPREAD!!!! @ArizonaFBall pic.twitter.com/MDtEtci5sB— March 4 Justice Tucson (@march4tucson) July 27, 2020
Burrola started six games at tackle for the Wildcats in 2019 and figured to be in the mix for regular playing time in 2020. He tweeted that he no longer receives his meal plan because of the suspension.
Three Wildcats tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in July and all three of the players were put into isolation following their positive tests. Arizona is preparing to play a conference-only schedule in 2020 as the Pac-12 previously announced that its teams would not play non-conference games if a season happens at all this year.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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