After Eagles player rejected COVID-19 vaccine, Boston College helped transfer

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Boston College has vaccinated its entire football team and coaching staff against COVID-19, coach Jeff Hafley said Thursday, although the Eagles did help a player who was unwilling to make the transfer.

Boston College has instituted mandatory vaccinations starting in the fall semester, and Hafley said his players’ buy-in was fast. However, a player, whom Hafley declined to name, refused the vaccination and in June the program helped him transfer to another school.

“I never gave my opinion on it. I just said, ‘This is the school rule,'” Hafley said. “If you don’t want it, I’ll support you. We had one player who didn’t want it and we helped him find a new home.”

The Eagles were among the most successful programs in preventing COVID-19 during the 2020 season, with only one player testing positive all season.

On Wednesday, ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said more than half of the 14-team competition has reached the proposed 85% threshold for vaccinations and several others are “on the brink.” That number is helped significantly by vaccine mandates with private institutions.

At Wake Forest, coach Dave Clawson said 126 of the 129 players, along with his entire staff, will be vaccinated by the start of fall camp. Syracuse coach Dino Babers said nearly all of his players have been vaccinated, while Duke has only one unvaccinated player.

Notre Dame, a partial ACC member, has also instituted vaccine requirements that extend to the entire student body.

NC state coach Dave Doeren said he pointed to the school’s baseball team, which has been sent home from the College World Series due to an outbreak of COVID-19, as evidence of the need to get vaccinated, but without a school or government mandate, there are some players who refuse to shoot.

“I’d like to say it’s mandatory,” Doeren said, “but there are legitimate concerns for some guys. I can’t play doctor, but I can point out all those things and talk about our baseball team, and we don’t want to be like that. But at the same time, there are some kids who fundamentally don’t believe in that and aren’t going to do it.”


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