Photo Credit: Colorado Athletics
BOULDER, Colo – On Thursday afternoon, Colorado Athletic Director Rick George spoke with the media regarding the recent decisions from the school and conference about moving forward.
Chancellor and Conference Mark Positive Movement
George was quick to touch on the progress made by the university as well as the Pac-12 in recent days. On Tuesday, the university announced its plan to return students to campus in the fall semester. Just hours after, the Pac-12 announced that its student-athletes may return to campus for voluntary workouts as soon as June 15.
These two updates are key in the quest for sports to return, as getting students in-person opens up more possibilities. On Wednesday, George mentioned he sent a letter home to all student-athletes about the update. He noted that it’s “a decision that the parent and the student-athlete need to make.”
There are currently 133 Colorado student-athletes still in town and range across all sports. With this announcement, George anticipates this number to only rise. Before students may participate in these voluntary workouts, they must quarantine and receive a physical from the medical staff. The department is also finalizing plans to re-establish a nutrition plan for the athletes.
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Scenario Planning Is Underway
While next season still looks foggy, it seems as though the Buffaloes will have a plan. However, those plans may not be disclosed for some time, saying, “It is still too early to tell what stadium and venues will look like in the fall.”
The confidence in his voice was reassuring, and George also outlined several times that the department was analyzing all situations. Still, he mentioned he had not been in contact with any other schools to discuss possible schedule openings. In particular, Fresno State is in question because of California’s legislative process and questions about sports in the state.
Colorado is also looking at scenarios to offset revenue losses due to empty stadiums. Interestingly, George mentioned that the scenarios would depend on if ticket holders would want their money returned. Still, he said the revenue loss from games without fans would be “significant.”
While these scenarios may not all be in the most positive light, George remains steadfast that the school is in a much better position now, saying he is “more optimistic today than I was six, eight weeks ago.”
The outlook for college sports is still vague, but there is room for optimism. Assuming everything works with the campus and community, George said, “We’ll be ready.”