Mike Norvell at Florida State.

Mike Norvell’s brief stint as the head coach of the Florida State Seminoles football team has so far included him being accused of lying about his communication with his players and one of his players accusing the school of lying about COVID-19 safety protocols. While college football has tried to push forward through the pandemic, Norvell’s program has stood out for multiple instances of concern that they’re not handling things as safely as they should.

Saturday, FSU announced that Norvell himself has tested positive for COVID-19, which only heightens these concerns about the state of the program and safety of the students he’s overseeing.

In our most recent round of Covid testing yesterday, I received a positive result after being negative in our previous two tests this week. My wife and daughter were tested this morning with negative results but are quarantining. My result was surprising to me, but we have prepared for a potential positive result among anyone in our program and we will put that plan in place while I am away. I will remain involved remotely as much as possible to help our team continue to prepare. Deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will handle in-person head coaching duties until I am able to return. I’m grateful to the administration, players and staff for their commitment to the protocols we have in place, which have helped us limit contact with others and allowed us to continue moving forward.

Per Florida State’s statement, deputy head coach Chris Thomsen will coach the team while Norvell heads into quarantine for at least 10 days. Florida State is scheduled to take on Miami on Saturday, September 26. Norvell says he will remain “involved remotely” in the game planning as much as possible.

Thomsen was previously the head coach at Abilene Christian University between 2005 and 2011. He also coached Texas Tech in a bowl game as an interim coach.

Noles 24/7 noted that Norvell spoke previously about backup plans the team had in place in case of situations like this one.

“We’ve got a Plan B, C, D, E, I think we’ve got them all covered,” Norvell said during the preseason. “Once again, unprecedented times. It’s something that you always go into a season with a Plan B just in case something was to occur, but there are a lot of moving pieces.

“So, really at every position, we have our thoughts on what would happen, what would occur, and how we would adjust to every situation whether it’s me or somebody else. That’s something that I think probably every program in the country is having to do at this time just because of some of the uncertainty with contact tracing, things that could show up. Like I said, we’re trying to do the best to our ability to make sure that goes as smoothly as possible.”

It’ll be interesting to see if the school lets any players comment on the latest news and what their reaction might be. As much as everyone is excited about the return of college football and the push to ensure it happens no matter what, the dangers are still very real and should continue to give everyone pause each time a situation like this occurs.

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.