Tyra comments on NCAA decision and steps UofL is taking to protect student-athletes

Tyra comments on NCAA decision and steps UofL is taking to protect student-athletes
UofL VP Athletics Vince Tyra (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus last Wednesday night, the sports world changed forever. That night the NBA suspended it’s season.

One week later, we found out how influential that was to the decision makers at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, and at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis.

“Knowing now that the NCAA wasn’t going to have access to the number of tests that they were going to need to make sure that the athletes were free of the virus was one of the key determining factors,” UofL vice president of athletics Vince Tyra said. “That was going to be a difficult one to continue the tournament.”

Tyra spoke to the media via video conference from his home. He said that UofL has taken immediate precautions in it’s athletic facilities to combat the virus.

“Our facilities have gone through a cleaning,” Tyra said. “Particularly the Kueber Center upon return from the tournament, since everyone was pretty much emptied out of there, we did a deep clean there. We followed the CDC policy for that, with support from our center of infectious disease on campus, we were in contact with them. We made sure we took the highest standard of cleaning.”

With all athletic competitions canceled for the remainder of the 2020 academic year, there are still some athletes on campus.

“The facilities today are able to be used on a voluntary basis per the ACC guidelines today,” Tyra added, " the athletes, for those that are still on campus, so we’re not talking about full rosters to begin with."

Tyra meets daily with university leadership and other athletic department officials.

He says there are some challenges to awarding an extra year of eligibility to the student-athletes who were participating in spring sports.

“I think that’s what, additional scholarships are being reviewed by the NCAA and the ACC,” he said. “My guess is there’s going to be a big voice from the conferences on this even though the NCAA has put out a statement, because of the financial impact.”

The financial hit by the university to losing any potential NCAA Tournament revenue is offset by not having to pay travel and meal expenses for those spring sports.

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