UofL football opener changed
As Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra had indicated would probably happen, UofL’s season-opening football game against N.C. State in Cardinal Stadium has been moved up one day to avoid a conflict with races at Churchill Downs during Kentucky Derby week, reports Kentucky Today.
Assuming there is a football season and it will start on time, the Cards will host the Wolfpack on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The game had originally been scheduled for Thursday, the same day as the “Thurby” racing program at the nearby Downs.
Louisville’s opener will also now not coincide with UK’s opener against Eastern Michigan, which was recently moved to Sept. 3.
6 UK football players had COVID-19
The Kentucky men’s basketball team will begin a COVID-19 screening process on Sunday before returning to activities prior to the July 4 holiday.
The only staff personnel who will be present at the workouts will be the school’s athletic development and performance coaches “for the safety of student-athletes, including strength and conditioning staff, athletic trainers and nutrition staff.”
Other staff members, including coaches in each sport, are working remotely with the players to ensure they are following the right protocols.
The football team began its return to phased activities on June 8 and has been participating in voluntary workings for nearly two weeks. A total of 106 student-athletes were tested for the coronavirus and six of those produced a positive result for a past infection through antibody tests.
The six unidentified players completed an evaluation process and were eventually cleared to participate in the workouts. The screening process included a temperature check, and completing a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire.
UK preparing for fans in stands
Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart is preparing for fans in the stands this season but is anticipating a shift in fan behavior when the football season kicks off as expected in September.
“We are preparing for games to be played as scheduled with our fans,” Barnhart said during a board of trustees athletics committee meeting via Zoom. “We do expect fan behavior and purchasing decisions to be affected regardless.”
The school is preparing for a $5.6 million decrease in revenue from ticket sales because of the current coronavirus pandemic. The athletics department has proposed a $148.5 million budget for the next fiscal year, a 17% decrease from last year. It includes a $1.48 million decrease in team travel and a $662,00 cut in staff and travel for recruiting.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams and football teams will see a reduction in chartered flights to and from games. Trips within six hours will likely be chartered, while longer trips will be made through commercial flights and likely require adjustments in classroom attendance.