Kansas State’s campus is essentially shutting down for the semester. But that doesn’t mean the football team’s spring practices are canceled — yet.
The Wildcats were scheduled to start spring practice under second-year head coach Chris Klieman on Wednesday. But after the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread across the United States, and in tandem with the Big 12 Conference, K-State announced last week that it was suspending all out-of-season practices until at least March 30. The Big 12 also canceled all spring sports competitions — including those that last into the summer — through the end of the academic year.
During a segment of “Ask the AD” Monday, K-State athletics director Gene Taylor said he expected that the football season will start on time, and that the team will be able to hold its normal preseason practices, which begin in August. Between now and then, K-State might be able to find a time to squeeze in the 15 practices the NCAA allows during a spring.
“If we do everything right between now and (August), could spring ball start later?” Taylor said. “Possibly.”
With all sports on hold — high school, college and professional — amid the coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak, Taylor said his department is going to do what it can to keep the fan base entertained.
“We’re going to have an opportunity for our fans to go back and look at some of the greatest moments of K-State Athletics,” he said. “You know the ESPNs of the world are running old games right now. We want to do as much as we can and put things out there to keep our fans updated with how our coaches are doing, how our athletes are doing. We’ll find ways to do that appropriately.”
That’s because, Taylor said, he knows how important it is to give people a chance to focus on something other than all the harrowing headlines about the pandemic.
“We know it’s very serious, but yet we want to help our fans have a distraction and know things are moving forward and everybody’s going to do OK,” he said, “and eventually, we’ll get there.”