ODU football coach Ricky Rahne discusses Monarchs canceled season

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NORFOLK (WAVY) — Hired 296 days ago, Old Dominion football coach Ricky Rahne has yet to pace the sidelines at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

ODU decided not to play football this season because of the pandemic, the only school in Conference USA to not play this Fall.

The decision was made President John Broderick and Athletic Director Wood Selig.

“With where we are at today, the health of our student athletes, the testing, where we are in the 757, it was the right decision for our University,” Rahne said.

It was Rahne though that broke the news to his team that there would not be football until Fall 2021 and he did it in a Zoom meeting.

“It was emotional,” Rahne said. “I tried to very honest and direct with the kids. I probably told them the decision in the first seven seconds.”

Rahne said he’s very pleased with how the majority of the players reacted to the disappointment.

“Watching the players react to it in such a mature way and realize there were more important issues in the world at the time than us playing football or not.”

Rahne’s team is working out, in non-contact drills, trying to stay sharp and in shape. With an actual game 11 months away, Rahne had a message for the Monarchs fans.

“I know it’s a hard time being without football on Saturday’s and I know how much of a community involvement it is here and that’s why it makes it so great and that’s why I came here.”

Rahne added, “When we come back, we’ll come back better than ever.”

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