Mullen brushes aside criticism for wanting to 'pack Swamp'

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Florida head coach Dan Mullen reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Mullen was given several more chances Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, to walk back bizarre comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic. He declined each of them, brushing aside criticism and insisting he's focused on defending national champion LSU. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida coach Dan Mullen was given several more chances Monday to clarify any confusion regarding his comments about wanting to pack 90,000 screaming fans inside Florida Field during the coronavirus pandemic.

He declined each of them, brushing aside criticism and insisting he's focused on defending national champion LSU.

He was asked: Did you have any discussions with your boss, athletic director Scott Stricklin, about what you said following a 41-38 loss at Texas A&M?

“No, I’ve been worried about trying to beat LSU,” Mullen said.

Then: Any regrets two days later? Did you talk with school president Kent Fuchs?

“Yeah, I’ve been preparing for LSU. But, I mean, I’ll be honest. I think if you look at what we’ve been able to do, the safety precautions we have that our players have followed, our coaches follow, our staff follows, you know, I think we’re a model of safety of what we’ve been doing during this time period.

“So I’m really proud of how we’ve handled everything and how safe we’ve been with everything we’re doing and all the precautions we’ve had in place during this time.”

Another follow-up: Do you understand how bad it could be having so many people, with or without masks, in cramped quarters for four hours?