Vanderbilt kicker Oren Milstein opts-out, issues statement explaining his decision
In need of some competition at the kicker position, Vanderbilt added Columbia transfer Oren Milstein to the roster this offseason in the hopes of replacing former Commodore placekicker, Ryley Guay.
Milstein would have had the opportunity to replace Guay in the lineup this fall but the former Columbia kicker announced on Tuesday that he has decided to opt-out of the coming college football season.
During his time at Columbia, Milstein hit 20 of 26 field goal attempts and 41 of 43 extra point attempts. His career-long conversion was a 44-yard field goal.
The Columbia graduate and Vanderbilt kicker explained his decision in a recent Twitter thread:
“As my teammates and coaches are aware, I have decided to opt out of participating in the 2020 college football season. This was a very difficult decision and certainly one that I did not make without immense contemplation.
“Football really does mean so much to me, but at the end of the day COVID-19 is real and can affect anyone. Much of my reasoning stems from the uncertain long term effects of contracting this virus and the increasing examples of athletes and young people being severely affected.
“I am not willing to sacrifice my health, the health of my teammates, or the health of everyone involved in facilitating college football this fall in order to play football this season.
“The SEC and Vanderbilt are attempting to implement safe playing conditions for the players, but there are only so many precautions one can take while playing the game of football in various cities on a large team in a college environment during a global pandemic.
“Furthermore, many of our questions and concerns about our health, the ethics of playing college football during a pandemic, and the long term effects of COVID-19 have been left unanswered as the country continues to suffer and football activities continue to ramp up.
“I am forever grateful for my teammates, and they know that this decision has nothing to do with them, but rather the circumstances we are all under. I will be their biggest advocate and supporter this year and will always have their backs. #AnchorDown”