Unprecedented and heart-wrenching: Radakovich details athletics and the coronavirus
|Monday, March 16, 2020, 3:45 PM- -|
Unprecedented times lead to unprecedented measures.
The Clemson campus looked like a ghost town Monday afternoon with students and most employees working from home amid concerns over COVID-19 (or coronavirus). Sports have been canceled or postponed, including the annual Orange and White Game.
While some are hopeful that spring sports might be able to resume at a later date, Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich said on The Roar (105.5 FM) Monday that he doesn’t see that happening.
“Some of the other conferences that you’ve seen over the last few days have extended that through the remainder of the spring semester,” Radakovich said. "Last week, we did an indefinite call over these activities. I would imagine unless something very unusual happens, the ACC will follow through and cancel all spring activities.”
The situation continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and Radakovich said the priority is the safety of employees, coaches, student-athletes, and fans.
“This is an unprecedented situation that we are dealing with, and it continues to evolve rapidly,” Radakovich said. “This is not about competition. This is about safety and what we can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 amongst our staff, coaches, faculty, university personnel, student-athletes, and our fans.
“It’s that whole Clemson community that we are concerned about. The university is closed to staff. We pushed classes online. We canceled all on-campus events until April 5th and no university-related travel until April 5th. Obviously, that means we don’t have any activities here and that, unfortunately, includes the spring game.”
In response to the cancellation of collegiate spring sports due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA Division I Council Committee has recommended that eligibility relief be provided to all student-athletes who participate in spring sports.
Radakovich is looking for more word on that this week.
“Would someone being a senior softball or baseball player for example, golf or tennis, be able to come back again if that’s in their best interest to compete again and how that would affect roster limits and scholarship numbers? That’s to come, and something we will look at in the coming days,” Radakovich said.
One of his first orders of business is making sure that the student-athletes – including those whose career may be over – are taken care of while also helping the school do its part to eradicate the virus.
“It's heart-wrenching from the standpoint of our student-athletes who have worked so hard over the last month and years to prepare for this season, especially those who were in their final year, but we are looking to make sure our student-athletes are taken care of,” Radakovich said. “It was difficult. It's not something we are used to. Competitors compete, and we have no ability to do that right now for incredibly great reasons. We are in the same boat as others throughout the country, and we want to make sure we are doing our part here to help flatten the curve and help eliminate this virus as quickly as possible.”