LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville Athletic Director Vince Tyra spoke with WDRB about the Cardinal football season and upcoming basketball season amid the pandemic.
The football team’s game last week against Virginia was postponed after the U of L athletic program reported 15 cases of COVID-19. That game is now scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tyra says the football team is tested for the virus three days a week. Athletic directors for both teams will then discuss a plan of action with chief medical officers in the league. Players will be tested four times this week because of the positive cases from last week. No staff or players have tested positive since Sunday, according to Tyra.
“You control this thing as much as you can but it has a mind of it’s own. We’re continuing to stress all the preventative measures we had,” said Tyra in an interview on WDRB in the Morning.
The basketball season starts on November 25 against Southern Illinois as part of the Wade Houston Classic at the Yum Center. U of L is preparing to have 3,000 fans in the KFC Yum! Center for games throughout the season. The protocols for entering the KFC Yum! Center will be very similar to how fans enter Cardinal Stadium. The Cards arguably drew one of the toughest schedules with two games against both Duke and Virginia.
“From the entry to the facility is always my biggest concern because I think people can get very close together, having enough entry gates open and making sure people are socially distancing on the way in is very important.”
Temperature checks and masks will still be required. Tyra stressed that is important for fans to keep their distance around the concession stands and in line for the restrooms.
Between Louisville City FC, U of L and the University of Kentucky, Tyra said he does not know of community spread at a sporting event.
“I think that’s because it a controlled environment. It’s well managed,” said Tyra. “I don’t think people’s interest is to come there and get sick – it’s to watch a game and leave as healthy as they came.”
In the early months of the pandemic, the U of L athletic department was forced to make adjustments to accommodate the changes that came with COVID-19. Tyra says despite the pandemic, he believes the athletic department at U of L has done a "outstanding job" financially.
"There were some critics about us making quick moves and now it's moved the other way where we've gotten a lot of praise for what we've done," Tyra said. "But I think we've put ourselves in as good a position as we can related to this situation. I can always say that we're going to continue to adjust to what happens. So, with our plan today we don't have cuts planned. We think we're operating well within our sports budget, within our staffing. Everybody is doing a great job in our department."
Tyra says the department also has a plan for the deficit that will not weigh on the university.
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