Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley Justified in Fears of Voluntary Workouts

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Most college football coaches are braggadocios loudmouths that would be be willing to skip their grandmother's 100th birthday party if it meant they could land a 4-star defensive back from Mississippi. On the flip side, a side that has become increasingly sparse over the last few years, is Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley.

Not only was Riley one of the first to speak out about the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the ongoing protests, but he has promoted safety relentlessly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Riley is worried that coaches will try to rush players back to campus in the name of getting everyone prepared for the season, throwing caution and safety to the wind.

"Sadly, in our college game, 'voluntary' has always been a very loose term," Riley said. "The reality of the matter is there's different institutions and there's different conferences that allow you to do a different amount, or some just look the other way."

Given how three Oklahoma State athletes have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 in recent weeks, Riley's concerns about spreading the virus are more than justified.

Riley is seemingly the only Power 5 coach who is resisting the urge to call the entire team back as soon as possible. Winning a few football games will never be as important as preserving the health, safety, and trust of the Sooners players.