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An athletic director’s perspective

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LEN NAVARA 10 SOT

MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) -- With so many postponements and cancellations due to concerns of the coronavirus, imagine being an athletic director. All eyes are on you to make the right decionsions.

It's uncharted territory for everyone, so I asked Murphysboro AD Len Novara what's it been like for for him as an athletic director.

"Lot of uncertainty, lot of unprecedented things that have happened, and nobody really has a blueprint on how to handle this."

Novara explained a bit about the conversations he’s having with coaches.

"Each sport is different, and as I previously thought this is, if there is a good time, this has hit us when we are in-between seasons. Our spring sports at the high school level and here at Murphysboro start next week with girls soccer, baseball, softball, boys and girls track. None of those had really too many events this week, so we've really had a little bit of time to process what is going on and to work with each one of them on what's best and find a plan that fits all of us. So we are not treating one sport differently than others. We are trying to do what's sensible and what's right and what's going to protect the health and safety of our athletes."

I also wanted to know - as an AD, do you have multiple plans ready to be put into play? Based upon decisions beyond your control, do you go from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C?

"That's a really good question. I'm going to say twenty years ago I don't think I could've handled this being a much less experienced athletic director. Today was a challenging day. What we did was put our plan together. We decided what we were going to do, what we weren't going to do. For instance, Murphysboro school and athletics and different teams, we were not going to travel across state lines. We were not going to travel into the metro area. We were not going to travel north of Interstate 64. So we knew right away I could contact all of those schools and say, ‘Hey, next week when we are supposed to play you guys, that game is canceled.’ Now all of the local schools that we were playing, reaching out to all of them to say, ‘If you guys are in school are you planning?’ So it was a lot of communication today. And in terms of next week, we've got a great handle on what we are planning on doing, but you are right - it's day by day. It’s second by second, because throughout the entire day you are getting different messages, different things, different information that changed those plans as well so it's been a challenging day."

Jason Hurst

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