Southern Miss senior opts out of playing this season due to COVID concerns

Southern Miss senior opts out of playing this season due to COVID concerns
Jacques Turner says playing this season isn’t worth the risk to his health and the health of his family. (Source: WDAM Staff)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLOX) - With football season right around the corner, some players are deciding to opt out of this season.

Jacques Turner is one of those players. The former D’Iberville standout says, for him, playing this season isn’t worth the risk to his health and the health of his family.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Turner was named to Conference USA’s All-Freshman team. He went on to be named first team All-Conference in 2018 and an honorable mention last season.

But the college senior says he won’t play for his final season.

“Going into the season, it’s a lot of uncertainty and… if I happen to catch corona during the season, I’ll have to quarantine for two weeks and whoever I’ve been in contact with, they will have to quarantine for two weeks, too,” said Turner. “So that’s just me losing games, you know what I’m saying? So, that’s what kind of played a huge role in my decision.”

Jacques Turner is set to graduate in December from USM with his degree in sports management.
Jacques Turner is set to graduate in December from USM with his degree in sports management. (Source: Twitter/JacquesTurner)

Turner’s brother is currently in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. It’s one of the many reasons Turner has decided to opt out of the season.

“It just started off with the similar symptoms that you hear. His nose was stopped up. He’s isolated right now but he’s doing good. He hasn’t really showed any other type of symptoms.”

As more information on the long-term effects of COVID-19 come to light, Turner says he felt it was best to focus instead on his graduation in December. He’s entered into the transfer portal and plans to become eligible to play elsewhere at the end of this semester.

“With me opting out, it gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do with my future and I think this is a great opportunity for me to take,” he told WLOX.

As far as his future goes, number 99 hopes to use his experience as a collegiate athlete to help others.

“I want to coach,” he said. “I’m getting my degree in sports management so I’ll be able to do coaching with that.”

Jacques Turner (99) and Racheem Boothe (41)
Jacques Turner (99) and Racheem Boothe (41) (Source: WDAM)

Turner isn’t the only USM Golden Eagle to opt out of the 2020 campaign. Racheem Boothe and Jaylond Adams have also announced their decision to sit the season out.

Last week, state officials focused much of their discussion around college football.

“As you may have seen, there were five Big Ten football players recently tested positive for myocarditis,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “It’s an inflammatory condition of the heart related to the coronavirus.”

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