BELOIT—Dave DeGeorge has only been athletic director at Beloit College for a few weeks, but he is already facing one of the most uncertain times ever for Buccaneer sports.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down collegiate athletics at all levels in March and when they resume is still anyone’s guess.
“I’ve been speaking with my staff and a lot of the conversations are about coming back to school and what that is going to look like,” DeGeorge said. “There haven’t been any decisions yet on a national level or a conference level as far as sports are concerned. Our intention is to play, but anyone can say that now.”
DeGeorge expects the wait-and-see situation to remain in place for at least another month.
“I think you’re going to start seeing announcements from schools the first week in July,” he said.
“Everybody I talk to wants to play, but there are some pretty significant issues. We don’t have the money that a Division 1 program has. They might be able to create a lab on their own campus for testing athletes. Think about UW-Madison. Could they theoretically create a lab on their campus to test their football players on a daily basis? They could do that. But Beloit College couldn’t do that. The tests are expensive. It’s a tough deal.”
DeGeorge doesn’t envy the people making the decisions.
“They’re talking about everything, from dorms to food to how clubs get together,” he said. “Obviously the people involved with making these decisions have to be very careful because on a campus like Beloit if you had an outbreak of 50 kids getting it, that would really be bad.”
DeGeorge has had conversations with his brother Mike, who is head basketball coach at NCAA Division II Colorado Mesa University.
“They have been affected by (the pandemic) very minimally,” he said. “They’re 100 percent ready to go. But not everybody who goes to Colorado Mesa is from Grand Junction. When they bring people from other places there could be an impact.”
In addition to his AD duties, DeGeorge is also continuing as head baseball coach for the Buccaneers. His team was off to an 8-1 start in the spring before the shutdown. So while he’s considering budgets and other program-wide duties, he’s also working recruiting for his own team. He would normally be lining up showcases to attend this month, but many have been canceled.
“Over the next week I will be contacting a lot of the area clubs for baseball and seeing if they’re playing,” he said. “If they’re playing, I’m going to go and if they’re not I’m going to ask them for rosters and contact information for the kids. At least we can contact them. That’s one of the reasons these kids join these club teams. They want to be exposed to college coaches so I think the club coaches will be agreeable. Some of the clubs do an amazing job promoting their kids and some don’t.”