UNCW athletic department working to help athletes during coronavirus crisis

UNCW's Jimmy Bass first interview

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The coronavirus has closed the UNCW campus, but Athletic Director Jimmy Bass is still hard at work.

With spring sports seasons canceled he’s been trying to make sure the department is financially sound.

“It will be challenging,” says Bass. “We are finding ways to cut budgets and limiting purchases here at the end of the year. But we are optimistic that we will be able to have a balanced budget on June 30.”

The department has also had to make sure that all student-athletes are prepared for online classes.

“They got all of our kids geared up to do online distance education,” said Bass. “We secured laptop computers for some of the kids from resources here on campus. So that everybody had access.”

The university is also getting ready for next year’s spring sports now that they all have an extra year of eligibility after the NCAA’s ruling on Monday.

“Our head coaches are working in contacting and speaking with our student-athletes,” said Bass. They are also involving our sports administrators in those conversations to learn how many of our kids do indeed have a desire to come back in the spring of 2021.”

Bass is in constant contact with officials on guidance on how to move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You are listening to the Federal government you're listening to Governor Cooper in Raleigh and how North Carolina is responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Ball. You're listening to Mayor Safo here in Wilmington. And we also have another that we are listening to interim president Roper of the UNC system in Chapel Hill.”

Bass says that he is hopeful that fall sports will start on time, but a decision is still far from being made.

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