Nov 9, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Dee Wiggins (center) celebrates with offensive lineman John Campbell Jr. (left) and running back Robert Burns (right) after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hurricanes to play at least two games with students in stands

Miami (Fla.) will play its first two home games without any students on hand at Hard Rock Stadium.

In addition, university president Julio Frenk said in a letter to the campus community on Friday that no alcohol will be sold this season at the stadium.

The prohibition on students at the stadium was spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, Frenk said. Students will miss games against UAB (Sept. 10) and in-state rival Florida State (Sept. 26).

“Given that we are barely two weeks into the semester and the number of COVID-19 cases among students has registered recent increases, students will not be permitted to attend the first two home games at Hard Rock Stadium,” he wrote. “As disappointing as this is to all of us, especially the students, this is the prudent course of action at this time, as we continue to prioritize health and safety on campus above all else.”

As of Friday morning, Florida trailed only California for the most cases of COVID-19 in the United States with 615,806. That included 3,815 new cases confirmed by the Florida Department of Health.

Frenk said the university would continue to evaluate the no-student decision as the season progresses.

As for the ban on alcohol sales, Frenk said that also is being enacted to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“As organizations across South Florida and around the world fight COVID-19, the importance of relying on the experts has become clear,” he wrote. “Our community has come too far to ignore the evidence. Alcohol impairs the ability to make rational decisions and has been shown to dampen immunity. We all look forward to the day when we can engage socially at games as we always have, but that day has not yet arrived.”

–Field Level Media