NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - While the Southland Conference has not made any official decision on starting up operations again, the athletic staff at SFA is already working on plans to bring athletes back on campus.
“Right now we are going through an exercise with the university and a task force group,” SFA Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said. “We are developing our protocols right now for athletes to return and for athletic participation. We hope to have it in place so we can have the student athletes back here in a safe environment.”
Ivey said he hopes that can be done by July 1, if not the end of June.
“It will be a phased in approach," Ivey said. "We would bring our summer access athletes in which would be our football, our men’s and women’s basketball student athletes that’s allowable by the NCAA. Then we would bring in those fall sports for any voluntary activities those student-athletes would like to come back for.”
Ivey understands there are challenges when coming back. It is unclear if all states will be ready at the same time. SFA Football plays opponents in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Ivey said all aspects are being looked at and will be acted on once a clearer picture is formed.
“This is something never been done before,” Ivey said. “Anything and everything is on the table. We don’t know what the future is going to hold for us. We are trying to plan for every scenario we can plan for.”
The longer the shutdown goes the less time coaches will have with their athletes once they are back on campus.
“If there was ever a year for this to happen this was not the year with us losing a lot of senior leadership," SFA Head Volleyball Coach Debbie Humphreys said. “We are young but we have a lot of talent. We just have to be smart as coaches with the amount of time they have been away from us. We try to explain to them that every day they are a Division I student-athlete. They should be at home getting work in. They can’t e with the team but there are things they can do. What we are really going to find out is who used this opportunity to improve and who used this a vacation.”