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true

Hoosiers Taking Voting Seriously As They Prepare For Season

Indiana football coach Tom Allen watches over practice September 30 at the IU practice fields.

Indiana football coach Tom Allen watches over practice last week outside Memorial Stadium. (Scott Burns / Indiana University Athletics)

Monday is the last day to register to vote in Indiana, but that’s one thing Indiana University football coach Tom Allen does not have to worry about.

He says all the players on the team have already registered.

“I just want our guys to execute their right and their privilege to vote in our democracy,” Allen said. “We never tell them who to vote for, but we challenge them to study, know the issues and vote for the person or individual that you believe represents what you want. It is very important. 

“I know this has been a national emphasis, but we have really taken that to heart here.  Our guys have gotten into that, like they should.”

He credited assistant coaches Brandon Shelby and Mike Hart with spearheading the effort to raise voting awareness. It’s part of an overall effort by the Big Ten and IU to encourage student-athletes to participate in the electoral process. Indiana said that 10 athletic programs in all reached 100 percent vooter registration.

While voter registration is out of the way, the season is fast approaching for Allen and IU. The Hoosiers are scheduled to open either Oct. 23 or 24 at home against Penn State.

Alen got his first real look at the Hoosiers in a controlled scrimmage Saturday at Memorial Stadium. He said he tried to get some players at least 25 snaps and was cognizant of trying to manage how much players did in the first scrimmage. Allen said scrimmages are scheduled for the next two Saturdays.

“I do not see us doing a full-bore scrimmage during the middle of the week, we will save that for Saturday,” he said. “We will have a pretty lengthy one this weekend. That is the plan. We are just trying to be very careful, just really evaluate our guys, know where we are at, know which workload we can handle, as we continue to build this thing each and every day.”

But for a first scrimmage, Allen was pleased with the lack of penalties and errors, something he attributes to the number of veterans back this season. He said he’s watched the scrimmage film three times.

“We still had mistakes and still had things that we have to clean out, but it was not one of those sloppy scrimmages that you sometimes find yourself in when you do it for the first time in a long time,” Allen said. “That was definitely something that I was encouraged by.”

One thing that was missing from the scrimmage was the simulated crowd noise that will be used during games once the season starts. While Allen would like to get that started, he’s waiting for the Big Ten to provide instructions on the specifics of what is allowed with piped-in noise.

In fact, Saturday’s scrimmage was the first time the Hoosiers had practiced in Memorial Stadium due to restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Next step is to be able to get in there with the level of noise they’re going to allow us to have. It’s going to be different,” Allen said. “As we know how it’s going to be, we’re going to simulate that the best we can during practice.”

Still, Allen is not banking on simulated crowd noise to inspire his team.

“The energy has to come from within, regardless of whether you’re playing at home or on the road because of the environment and the empty bleachers,” Allen said.

IU reported that since daily coronavirus testing began on Sept. 17, the Hoosiers have had 2,112 negative tests and just four positive tests – two players and two student personnel. Three of those cases, including the two players, remain active.

 

 

 

 

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