After Duke football went through its first practice of the fall on Friday, head coach David Cutcliffe gave an update on two players that will opt out of the 2020 season: Ben Wyatt and Jacob Rimmer.
According to Cutcliffe: “They just weren’t comfortable playing in the environment of this virus and we certainly support them in every way. They are two great young men.”
During his time at Duke, Wyatt, a redshirt senior, has been a strong contributor on special teams; he entered 2020 as a three-year starter at long snapper. Rimmer, a 4-star recruit in Duke’s 2017 class, is a redshirt junior, though he’s seen little playing time so far in Durham: three career games.
— Stephen Wiseman (@stevewisemanNC) August 7, 2020
Also on Friday: three more North Carolina football players — Bryce Watts, DJ Ford and Javon Terry — also opted out.
Duke football was the last ACC program to have players arrive on campus this summer — back on July 12. A few weeks later, on July 31, Duke announced that 25 athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Luckily, all 25 dealt with minor symptoms or were asymptomatic. (Note: this is also before basketball players arrived back on campus.)
Earlier this week, the NCAA’s Board of Directors passed updated guidelines that are designed to protect college athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Duke will honor the scholarships of Wyatt and Rimmer, who both set to graduate next spring.