Athletics adapts to the new normal

Warhawk+football+won%27t+be+seeing+fans+in+the+stands+this+season+as+pictured+here+in+this+game+against+UW-Platteville+last+October.+

Dane Shehan

Warhawk football won’t be seeing fans in the stands this season as pictured here in this game against UW-Platteville last October.

Hannah Michalowski, Sports Editor

The July 27 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) cancellation of fall competition due to COVID-19 affects several teams on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. Those include football, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country. Women’s tennis season will be moving to the spring. The NCAA released documents online regarding practice precautions and guidelines for institutions to abide by. 

“We are committed to following the NCAA guidelines precisely. We are working hard to

 secure the testing we need and to utilize our resources in the area,” Ryan Callahan, Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics said.  

While details are still being finalized, the guidelines to follow differentiate from low-risk sports to high-risk sports. When referencing the risk of individual sports, the amount of contact and social-distancing allowed in each sport is considered. Tennis would be considered low-risk, while volleyball and football are considered high risk. As of now, high risk sports will require a random testing of twenty-five percent of the team’s athletes every two weeks. If Whitewater can supply the tests, and all players test negative, teams will be allowed to hold practices in moderation, have speed and agility training, and conduct meetings, etc. 

Head football coach Kevin Bullis said he plans for things to go one or two ways. If tests are available and the players are testing negative, he plans to do full training, in smaller groups. If tests are not allocated, he still plans to meet with his team, just in different settings. Coaches are allowed 114 contact days with the team during the 2020 off year. 

“We just really can’t wait to see the kids again. As much as they’ve missed being here, we have missed them being here too. I have been trying to convey to anyone who will listen that we have to be smart. We need to adapt how we function in life and if we do, great things will come,” Bullis said. 

Without the competition of fall sports, colleges are expected to take a large hit in revenue. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has held camps over the summer, with a much smaller attendance than usual. So in times like these, coaches are relaying words of encouragement to their players to keep them motivated and pushing forward in not only athletics, but life too.

“We’re all dealing with this. Everyone in athletics is dealing with this and it is something that we aren’t used to,” head cross country coach Jeff Miller told his athletes. “Control what you can control. Try to do your best at whatever you have control over and don’t let anything that you don’t drag you down.”

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