Vanderbilt made a late decision to allow limited fans in recent days after it was the last SEC school to make such an announcement. The Commodores play host to LSU on Saturday.

Coach Derek Mason outlined at his regular Tuesday press conference how and why the school arrived at its decision to allow limited senior students in the stadium. Mason said Vanderbilt students have been tested once a week for COVID-19 since school started.

“I think people need to know and understand, Vanderbilt is a unique place,” Mason said. “And it’s special because of how close, how tight, how we’re able to connect as a community.”

Mason said he wants players’ families there, and the overall fan base to watch the games.

“But it has to start somewhere, and as you look at a ramp up and what we’re looking to do, the idea of a population that’s already within our bubble, so to speak, that’s getting tested, is the first wave,” he said. “And that’s the way we need to move here at Vanderbilt so that we can get our parents and our fan base back here as soon as possible.”

Mason said a lot of what he’s learned from other schools around the country is the problems from the coronavirus stem from people on the outside of the area coming in, not necessarily people on the inside of a given campus.