Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury speaks during a press conference to introduce the women's basketball team's new head coach. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury hopes spring sports resume when safe

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury supported the cancellations and suspensions of college events and seasons that have impacted Tech athletes in the wake of the spread of COVID-19.

At the same time, in sharing his disappointment for Yellow Jackets athletes in winter sports whose seasons have ended prematurely, he gave voice to the possibility that Jackets spring sports teams whose seasons have been suspended by the ACC will be able to eventually resume.

Stansbury said that he was “extremely disappointed for our spring sports student-athletes whose seasons are currently on hold, and hope that it will be safe and appropriate for them to resume competition this spring.”

» More AJC coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Tech fields seven teams that compete in the spring – baseball, golf, softball, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s track. Members of the swimming/diving and indoor track and field teams had qualified for their respective NCAA championships and the women’s basketball team was hoping for a postseason tournament berth.

In an interview Friday with the “Packer and Durham” show on the ACC Network, Clemson athletic director and former Tech AD Dan Radakovich shared a like sentiment, saying “(I) look forward to these conversations to be able to come back and see if there’s any possibility of retaining a little bit of the (spring) season, but if not, that’s OK.”

On Thursday, the ACC suspended “all athletic related activities” until further notice, leaving open the possibility that spring sports could eventually continue. It was a contrast to the Big Ten, which Thursday canceled all spring sports competition through the end of those sports’ seasons. It followed a similar decision by the Ivy League on Wednesday. The NCAA also canceled all remaining championship events through the end of the academic year.

The ACC’s stance, which suspended competition, formal and organized practice, recruiting and participation in NCAA championships, was similar to other power conferences besides the Big Ten. The Pac-12 canceled all league competitions and championship events until further notice. The SEC suspended regular-season competition on member campuses and conference championship events through at least April 15.

The Big 12 suspended all regular-season competitions, on- and off-campus recruiting and out-of-season practice until March 29.

The NCAA has also granted an extra season of eligibility to spring-sports athletes in light of their seasons being suspended or canceled entirely.

Stansbury’s full statement:

“The health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and our whole community is and will always be our top priority. This is an unprecedented public health crisis and something that is affecting the lives of people in much bigger ways than sports. Therefore, I am supportive of measures being taken to ensure health and safety during this challenging time and understand that we must all do our part to help address this pandemic. 

“That said, I am heartbroken for our women's basketball, swimming and diving and indoor track and field student-athletes -- especially the seniors -- whose seasons ended before they had the chance to compete in their respective national tournaments. I am also extremely disappointed for our spring sports student-athletes whose seasons are currently on hold, and hope that it will be safe and appropriate for them to resume competition this spring. 

“As President (Angel) Cabrera said yesterday, these are difficult and stressful times for our entire community, especially our student body. We will support our student-athletes and our whole community in any way that we possibly can as we navigate these trying times.”

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