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Mullen apologizes, clarifies comments about Swamp crow

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports
Florida coach Dan Mullen finally backtracked Wednesday about wanting 90,000 fans in The Swamp for the LSU game, apologizing “if I offended people or anybody out there.”

 After side-stepping several questions Monday about comments he made after the Texas A&M game about wanting 90,000 fans in The Swamp for the LSU game Saturday, Mullen did kind of walk back what he said with part of one of his answers at his weekly news conference.

 Here’s what he said Monday: “I've been really focused on trying to beat LSU. But, you know, whatever our government officials all say and what everybody does for the game, what we need to do is however many people they allow into the stadium, we need to try to work as hard as we can — all the Gator fans and all of us — to create the best game-day atmosphere we can."

 Following a national backlash in the past few days in which Mullen has been characterized as reckless and uncaring about fan safety, Wednesday he apologized “if I offended people or anybody out there.”

 He then clarified what he said Monday.

 “We played Texas A&M last weekend,” he said on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday. "I don’t know what their capacity within the stadium was, but I thought the people that were at the game, all of their fans created an exciting gameday environment. They brought a lot of energy to the stadium and I think that certainly helps all the players on the field.

“We’re pretty blessed here at Florida to play in The Swamp. When the Gator Nation’s in the stands, they bring a tremendous amount of energy. It’s one of the great things of playing, the energy that the fans bring and how that supports the team. And as I said on Monday, to me, one of the things I want to encourage was whatever our local health officials come and out say, ‘This is the number of people that we’re going to allow at the game right now,’ that I want to encourage those people to come in, bring the energy, bring the excitement into the stadium and help our team to win and bring that energy that they bring of what makes the Swamp such a special place to go play in.”