The COVID-19 pandemic has had an astronomical impact globally and nationally. With professional and collegiate sports halted due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, it has changed the daily routines for those that play in sports and also those that work in it.
For Georgia Tech Athletic Director Todd Stansbury, the abrupt cancellation of the winter/spring sports seasons by the ACC and NCAA, as well as the sudden end of the academic year, have been eye opening.
"Sports is the one thing we use in times of crisis to bring people together and to have it totally shut down like this, is incredibly disturbing for us that are in it," Stansbury said. "Obviously, I think the fans and everybody else that have been in crisis situations before, are used to kind of athletics getting us back to normal. So that's one of the tough things."
In a time where there's an indefinite hold on sports, Stansbury said the primary focus has been on the events that have unfolded in the past week. He's hopeful the decisions made by the conference can lead to answers for the future.
"I think this week has really been all about how are we going to manage our current situation in the short term and essentially throughout through the spring," Stansbury said. "I'm hoping once now decisions are being made, we will start to get to more immediate and long-term planning on all the 'what ifs.'"
According to Stansbury, he continuously updates his coaches on the ongoing developments and how to handle the situations accordingly with their players.
"We're having regular head coaches meetings," said Stansbury. "Obviously virtually at this point, continuing to update them on, not only the changing dynamics of what we're all going through, but also part of that is making sure that they're reaching out to their student-athletes on a regular basis."
One of the things still left unknown at the moment is the status of freshmen student-athletes prepared to move to campus in June.
"Unfortunately, things are changing so quickly, I think it's one of those that we're just going to have to wait to see how things develop," Stansbury said regarding the matter. "At this point, if things haven't been announced that they're changing, we're acting as if they're not, but also realizing that we're in a pretty dynamic situation at the moment."
Prior to the cancellation of the remaining winter/spring sports schedules, Tech's men's basketball team accepted a post-season ban placed by the NCAA. Despite the NIT and the NCAA Tournament being two of the main events cancelled, Stansbury said the Jackets' ban will still count towards the 2019-20 season.
"Most definitely," Stansbury said regarding if the ban is considered served. "There is some type of formality box that needs to be checked, so right now our attorneys are in the process of getting that done with the NCAA. We, and I, definitely feel like we fulfilled our obligation based on us not playing in the ACC Tournament this year."
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