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Kevin Blue: Attempting to shed some light on current state of UCD Athletics

365体育投注It’s been a tumultuous month for almost everyone worldwide. And while there is nary a business, lifestyle or pastime that hasn’t been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, few areas have been harder hit than the world of sports.

365体育投注Events near and far have been canceled or suspended. From T-ball to the pinnacle of performance — the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo this July — athletics everywhere have been shut down until further notice.

365体育投注UC Davis, a Northern California fixture that hosts a normally jam-packed spring schedule, has become a ghost town. Staff, coaches, student-athletes … All ordered to avoid campus. The impact on psyches and budgets is yet to be fully weighed.

Less than two weeks after the Big West stopped its women’s basketball tournament in mid-rounds and halted all other competition, the NCAA has canceled competition and, for now, payouts to member schools as the impacts of the coronavirus reach into yet-uncharted regions.

UCD Director of Athletics Kevin Blue, in a phone interview from his Davis home, took some time to shed as much light as possible on the state of sports at his school. Here is that interview with Blue …

Q.365体育投注 Given the suspension of all sports (two weeks ago), have there been new directives to student-athletes, coaches and staff in your department?

Blue — “Yes. Currently all student-athlete activities related to athletics and teams are suspended. Coaches and staff have been directed to work from home. That is where we find ourselves at the moment.”

Q. What is the environment like around the Athletic Department? Anybody holding down the fort on campus?

Blue — “No. Nobody’s there. There still is the odd facilities-related maintenance item that needs to get done, but everybody is working from home.”

Q. Has the Big West or any of UC Davis’ other league affiliations chimed in about what the future holds?

Blue — “We are in communication with all our affiliated leagues and there is enough uncertainty at the moment that people are not prepared to make definitive statements about next steps regarding competition or even practice.”

Q.365体育投注 What kind of direction/help is UCD and the rest of intercollegiate athletics getting from the NCAA?

Blue — “The NCAA … has been publishing updates about various items over emails and there have been various phone calls with conference representatives. Obviously, there have been a lot of moving parts to the situation with respect to national governance, national championships and with respect to cancellations. The NCAA has been trying to communicate as effectively as possible throughout. Obviously, we appreciate those efforts, despite the challenging circumstances.”

Q. Knowing this is unprecedented, isn’t it that everyone is still trying to get a handle on how everything will shake out? In essence, few answers, yet?

Blue — “Yes. There is a significant amount of uncertainty — not only from a public-health standpoint — but from an economic-impact standpoint and the best we can do is take it one day at time (while) still planning ahead for various scenarios as best we can, knowing the situation remains fluid until the larger, global pandemic is under better control.

“The only certainty we have right now is that there isn’t going to be anymore competition for the rest of the athletic year.

365体育投注“How and when we ramp things back up remains an open question. And we’re trying to anticipate how the transition back to some degree of athletic participation may look. Whether fans will be involved at the very beginning, we don’t know. When activities will resume, we don’t know. (The situation) continues to evolve on a daily basis, and we’ll continue to try to communicate about it as best we can.”

Q. Have you been able to get a handle on the financial impact to the Athletic Department?

Blue —365体育投注 “The cancellation of the NCAA basketball means that the revenue that’s generated by these events — in a normal year (having) the revenue passed through to member schools … means that there is going to be a (negative) impact on that revenue.

“The extent of the impact is still somewhat uncertain because of some additional work the NCAA has to do (in regard) to work-interruption insurance and the formulas used for distributing (money) to the membership … may change for one year because of the unique circumstances.

365体育投注(Blue says those NCAA payments to schools like UC Davis are between $1-2 million annually.)

“So we are expecting a decrease in revenue from NCAA payouts that we usually count on. As a result, we’re going to have to make some adjustments.”

A last question went unasked: “So when do you think this will all blow over?”

365体育投注Unfair because it’s become clear no one knows at this point what anyone’s future holds.

— Reach sports editor Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or call 530-320-4456.

 

 

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