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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Will Fall Sports Move to Spring? -- Tyra Talks Furloughs -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Will we see crowds like this again anytime soon? 
The subject of Fall Sports at colleges and Universities is a hot one in message boards, general sports chatter and starting to be addresses by a few of these entities.

A lot of the decisions, obviously, are going to hinge on how well the nation recovers from the COVID-19 Pandemic. And, will their be a "second front" of the virus escalating as cooler weather returns this fall? When will the nation "flatten the curve" we hear so much about? 

(Just thinking about a "flat curve" brought a random thought to mind. When will we see Celene Funke jump on a "flat curve" from an opposing pitcher and take it to the fence in Ulmer for a triple? 

We cover women's sports, as you undoubtedly know, here at Cardinal Couple. Me and the other three writers here spend our fall, during normal circumstances, covering women's soccer, field hockey, golf, track and field, swimming, the start of volleyball and several other DI activities that UofL participates in. 

The ACC has not yet issues any official policy on fall 2020 sports. A lot of that, obviously, has to do with students being able to return to campus in the fall. Social distancing requirements in the fall are unknown yet, also. Fan attendance is a big question mark, too. 

Will Jared be able to get pictures like this anytime soon? 
As columnist, reporters and photographers...we spend a lot of time in the fall in press boxes covering events and on the field with photography and post-game interviews. Press boxes can be crowded venues. Women's soccer, for example, usually has about a dozen staffers and sports information people "in the box", plus a public address announcer. Score-keeping, scoreboard management, statistics, social media and other activities essential with the efficient running of an event are needed. Add in a few reporters and social distancing spacing becomes almost impossible with that many people "in the box". 

Television broadcasting for soccer isn't affected as much, they have an adjacent room next to the main press box. 

Will Paulie be tweeting from press boxes this fall? 
Field Hockey is a bit different. The same amount of staffers and sports information people are needed, plus a few journalists are usually on hand. The broadcasts for Field Hockey are emanated out of the main press box, too -- not a separate facility or adjacent room. I suppose the announcers could be relocated to the roof of the press box or the stands -- this has been done in past seasons -- but the Field Hockey press box is smaller, at Louisville, than the soccer press box and social distancing could pose quite the dilemma.  

I would hope that the several photographers at these two events would still have access to the sidelines to get their pictures. 

One University president has already discussed the matter, and then walked back on his original statement. 

Tom Katsouleas, the president at UConn, got the pressure cooker steaming when he addressed the possibility pf fall sports being cancelled due to the coronavirus, while speaking to a university class, via NTI. 

Will this scenario be the new normal for sports attendance? 
"Current thinking is that likely fall sports will be cancelled -- with the exception of those sports that an be played at a safe distance." Katsouleas told a journalism class he teaches on Tuesday. 

UConn and Katsouleas both quickly pulled a "reverse" on the statement, though. A spokesperson for the University said:  "It was a misunderstanding about the phrasing of what he sai. Fall sports are still on". 

So, if they did consider allowing sports that don't involve close distances, would tennis and golf compete? 

Also, moving fall sports to the spring, as has been suggested, create an overload of athletic events for campuses? Let's say you have football, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, softball, baseball, volleyball and women's basketball all scheduled, at UofL on a spring Sunday. All without a fan base. 

Will Touchdown Squirrel scenarios happen this fall? 
The big stir and public reaction over the misguided UConn presidential statement was obviously centered around Football.

Given UConn 2-10 football record for 2019, with wins over Wagner and UMass, it might be an act of kindness if they cancelled football at UConn to prevent any melancholy and depression for Husky Football fans. 

So, we wait and see. How will our nation's sports enthusiasts be by August? How will the Covid-19 virus be affecting our society? Time will tell...


Fresh off the heels of Vince Tyra announcing cost-cutting measures within the athletic department (coaches taking 10% pay cuts, budget cuts to individual sports of 15% and the freezing of non-essential travel and hiring), the next step in trimming the athletic department budget will be furloughs or other employee-based reductions. 

These will go into effect today. Tyra met with  announced sometime this week. In a meeting with with UofL athletics association board Monday, via video conference, the measures the athletic department is taking to deal with COVID-19 closures and cancellation was discussed -- although no specific information has been released yet. 

A look at the UofL athletic staff directory shows around 325 individuals associated with Louisville Athletics -- ranging from athletic administration to Volleyball (in alphabetical order)...covering 40 different categories. 

We get it, we understand it. Jobs are disappearing everywhere. Just look at the unemployment numbers. 

UofL Athletics anticipates generating less revenue than originally projected. Through March, UofL athletic expenses were $1.5 million more than this time last March.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Athletic Department employees who will be affected by the upcoming furloughs. 

It would certainly appear that those huge buyout packages to Jurich, Pitino and Petrino are taking a toll. 



  1. Not related to the furloughs but unfortunately the WNBA will have fewer roster spots this year. With the salary increases more teams are going to go with only 11 roster spots when they normally would carry 12 players resulting in less roster spots available in the funnel for draftees to make a team.

  2. Rumor is some long timers at UofL were furloughed. What do you guys know?

    Nick O.


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