Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Mocs sports have been shut down for nearly a month with the COVID-19 outbreak. Imagine what that does to the athletic budget.
Mocs AD Mark Wharton is trying to navigate uncharted financial waters.
Said Wharton:”You know Zoom is funny the first couple of times, and then after that, it gets a little old.”
Virtual reality loses its appeal pretty quick.
Unfortunately there remains a stern, budget reality for athletics as a result of the coronavirus shut-down.
Wharton expects to address it in more detail at the end of the month.
Said Wharton:”We’ve got to figure out when we get that number. We’ve made some restrictions in roster sizes that travel. If you’re within 150 miles of your opponent, that we will travel day of the game in all of our sports. Different things to cut nights in hotels. Food per diem.”
On top of that, there’s the issue of the extra year for spring athletes who want to return for another season.
Said Wharton:”They are welcome back. If they want to come back, we have to let them back, and then they are not guaranteed the same aid. So we are currently doing a survey to all of those senior student athletes. I believe there are 19 or 20 of them. To get their pulse on whether they’re coming back or not. We have to know by next Friday.”
Meanwhile, Wharton says the construction of the new $22 million-dollar Bucky Wolford athletic center remains on track at the moment.
Said Wharton:”We are meeting in two weeks to be able to discuss it. Lot of schools around the country have stopped their capital projects. We have the money raised and commitments from the university about what they’re going to do. Just the question is with the university money. Will it be best to use to fund scholarships.”
The Porky’s Open is a big fund raising golf tournament for Mocs athletics scholarships.
It will likely be postponed since it was scheduled for April 28th.
As far as football, Wharton hopes to see the guys back in three months.
Said Wharton:”We’re focused on trying end of June to get everybody back. Specifically football. Get ramped up sometime in July to get them back into shape.”