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'We need to do better': Sooners' Athletics Director Joe Castiglione responds to game day COVID-19 precautions being ignored

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Joe C

Athletic director Joe Castiglione walks across the field during halftime of the spring game April 14, 2018.

Oklahoma athletics director Joe Castiglione released a statement to The Daily Sunday evening responding to certain sections of the stadium ignoring OU's mask-wearing mandate and COVID-19 safety precautions during the Sooners' 48-0 win over Missouri State Saturday, saying he appreciates those who followed suit in ensuring safety while also saying "too many individuals fell short of expectations."

“We applaud and are very thankful to the majority of fans who complied with the mask-wearing policy and distancing guidelines at the game Saturday nigh," Castiglione said in the statement." You all did your part to help keep everyone healthy and safe.

"Unfortunately, we had too many fans fall short of expectations, and our message to those individuals is simple: we need you to do better. We recognize wearing a mask for an extended period of time may not be easy or comfortable. It’s not fun for us to enforce, either. However, right now it's a necessity. For the health and well-being of everyone involved, we're trying to set that standard."

OU announced in August a mandate of wearing masks during home football games. Precautions of social distancing for OU's game against Missouri State Saturday night included stickers on seats that read “Please leave this seat vacant” to avoid clusters of people being formed. Although the majority of fans followed protocol, fans certain areas of the stands refused to wear masks or socially distance.

"If we can do a great job of following masking and distancing protocol, it also increases our chances of continuing to have fans or even adding more fans at our home games. We won't get there with the effort extended on Saturday night. I know Sooner fans. We can and need to do better.”

OU student section not a lot of masks

A large portion of the student section watching OU's Sept. 12 game against Missouri State are not wearing masks.

Caleb McCourry is the assistant sports editor at The Daily and is a junior at OU majoring in English. He's covered football, basketball and volleyball. 

Caleb McCourry is an intern news reporter at The Daily and is a junior at OU majoring in English. Caleb has previously served as the sports desk's editor and assistant editor, covering football, basketball and volleyball. Caleb is a Norman native.

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