UND Athletics Director Bill Chaves talks impact of Covid-19

Published: Mar. 17, 2020 at 2:52 PM CDT
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As the world continues to navigate the global pandemic of the coronavirus, here locally we're continuing to talk with administrators about the direction they are moving their departments.

Tuesday Valley News Live Sports spoke with University of North Dakota Athletics Director Bill Chaves to learn what he's hearing and saying to his staff.

“Probably the surprising, if there was anything surprising for me, was the finality of the spring season too," Chaves said. "So, I think, I understood potentially the next couple of weeks, but I think when the NCAA made the decision, with I’m sure incredible information from medical experts, to go all the way to the Spring I think that’s when it really probably hit a lot of folks.”

Chaves said he’s had conversations with his student athletes through email about what the future might look like with the NCAA cancelling its winter and spring sports.

When asked about an ideal world what he would like to see, in terms of how eligibility for those student athlete’s lost seasons would look like and Chaves said, at this point, he’s not really sure what it would even entail.

"Because the NCAA, I would say, potentially a rule, if you will, doesn’t necessarily mean each institution will take advantage of it. They may, they may, and so and then it becomes an individual decision as well and a programmatic decision. So I think there’s still a lot of things that we have to kind of think through.”

Last week, Chaves made a coaching change, letting go of Women’s Basketball Head Coach, Travis Brewster.

Chaves said he expects the search to continue thanks in part to technology already available.

“I think you can still go forward with a search from a technological standpoint and that’s what we plan to do. Now having said that, we’re a state entity, we have to go through the process and there are time frames that we have to abide by. So we’ll see what transpires, but I think we can continue to go forward."

"But I know this, I’ve got to be ready for any sort of change along the way and be ready to pivot because it seems like that’s what’s transpired over the last week.”

Chaves said he’s in constant communication with Athletic Directors across the country -- specifically learning and implementing lessons in how to communicate with everyone on his staff and the student athletes.

As of Tuesday morning Chaves said once campus re-opens at UND on April 6th he hopes student-athletes will also be able to return to their sense of what he called "a new normal" at that time -- adding that could very well change.

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