Spring practice went on as normal for WVU football on Thursday morning, but there was a slight change in tone when head coach Neal Brown took the podium to address the media after its conclusion.
His weekly press conference was less about football, but more about logistics. With the recent reactions around the sports world to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown stated that his team will move forward with their regular spring practice tomorrow before players leave for spring break — but the future is “fluid.”
“It’s fluid, I think that’s fair. It’s a fluid situation, and we’re going to continue to monitor the events and information nationally and locally to make a determination on how to move forward for the best of all involved,” he said. “Safety is our number one concern. Safety for our student-athletes, safety for our staff.”
While the university will not be holding classes on campus after spring break, the campus will be open for students who fill out housing applications. Student-athletes who are either in season or undergoing mandatory workouts are expected to return on Sunday, but that is subject to change. In addition, student-athletes from highly-infected areas will stay in Morgantown.
At the conference level, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has not provided any recommendations for the future of spring football this season.
“We will reconvene and consider that matter,” Bowlsby said.
As for the practice itself, Brown says it was one of the team’s better practices until the very end. He praised his team’s energy, noting that outside factors may have been at play.
“I think they wanted a release, really,” he said. “You talk about yesterday — there’s a lot that went down yesterday. We started talking about this with our players at about 8:30 in the morning, and you think about how things change from 8:30 to 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night, it’s unbelievable. I don’t know if I remember a day like that, and so I think they enjoyed being outside and playing the game that they enjoy.”