University of Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity is hopeful that athletic activities will resume during the Fall semester. He expressed his expectations after being asked about a meeting scheduled for Friday that will decide the fate of athletic activities going forward.
The mentioned meeting refers to the gathering between SEC presidents and chancellors on May 22nd. The purpose of this meeting is to vote on whether or not athletic facilities should open in June. Facilities would be available for voluntary workouts for the athletes.
The other alternative would be to extend the suspension placed on athletic activities.
While McGarity sees the light at the end of the tunnel, he recognizes that careful steps need to be taken in order to do this right.
McGarity also recognizes that this will just be the first step into getting a normal athletic season. While the facilities may open on June 1st, another important decision needs to be taken.
“We’re all also focusing on the return to play which is also going to be another milestone date”
Factors to consider
Returning to a normal athletic season is something that seems difficult or even impossible for the 2020 season. Sports held during the fall like football require a big crowd that would definitely defy the unofficial social distancing guidelines people should keep practicing.
McGarity says that he and his team are discussing their next steps towards achieving a safe athletic season. But he recognizes that they should be ready to adapt to any circumstances that might affect their original plan.
“I just think we have to prepare for every option possible. And even then if you do that, you probably throw it away and start all over once you actually get involved in what you’re doing as far a crowd capacity and things of that nature”
McGarity is not allowed to share all of the details. However, he ensures that he is taking every measure to make a safe return.
How the University of Georgia athletics adapted to the circumstances
Like many other schools, UGA had to adapt to what seems normal to most of us now: communication over zoom. Classes, as well as official meetings, had to be held virtually.
McGarity says that while it was a hard transition, his team and athletes were able to continue excelling.
Before getting his job at UGA, McGarity worked at the athletic department in the University of Florida. He was there for 18 years where he eventually held the Executive Associate Athletic Director position.
In 2010 he decided to go back to his roots as he moved back to his place of birth, Athens. By being named as UGA’s athletic director, McGarity made a return to his alma mater.