Statements from University of Miami President Julio Frenk and Athletic Director Blake James have charted the course for the return of athletics for the Miami Hurricanes.
University of Miami President Julio Frenk stated in a Wednesday interview with CNN that he does not expect fans at athletic events this fall. Miami Hurricanes athletic director Blake James did tell Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press that some student-athletes are expected back in June, with the rest in August.
Frenk was asked by CNN host Poppy Harlow if he thinks that the Miami Hurricanes will have a football season. He responded that they are doing everything with the safety of the students as the top priority. The determination of the season will come down to the safety of the students first and likely in an empty stadium.
James stated that based on the NCAA ruling on Wednesday allowing athletes in football and basketball to return to campuses he expects Miami Hurricanes administrators to start planning to bring back some student-athletes in those sports in June. That ends the moratorium the NCAA had through May 31.
Frenk is an internationally known expert on pandemics. He has been praised by Miami football head coach Manny Diaz for his expertise and the benefit it is throughout the University of Miami staff. Frenk was the Mexico Minister of Health from December 2000 through November 2006. Frenk has been at Miami since 2016.
Miami AD Blake James says based on today’s NCAA news, the Hurricanes plan to start bringing some student-athletes back to campus in June with a continued ramping-up through the start of the academic year.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 20, 2020
Frenk and Harlow initially discussed the when Miami will open at large, moved on to questions about Mexico before finally discussing the expectations for the football season. With the safety of the students in mind and practicing social distancing, school and the Hurricanes campus should open on time in August.
“We certainly hope so. I mean, obviously, everything we do will have safety of our students as the top priority. If we don’t feel it’s safe, we won’t do it. But with the measures we’re taking, we will and we hope, they will probably play in empty stadiums, like so many other sports, but we hope to have a …season, and we hope to have a winning season.”
Four Pillars getting students back on Campus
Frenk mentioned to Harlow that there are four big pillars to get through as students return to campus. Testing, tracking and tracking are the first ones. That is following by cleaning, the third pillar is protecting personal space and the fourth is vaccinating. Vaccinating is for the flu. Frenk made it clear it’s not against the Coronavirus.
No vaccine has been developed for the Coronavirus yet. Frenk stated that the third pillar will be through social distancing as well as the use of face coverings or masks. The flu vaccine is critical to keep the University of Miami community healthy to alleviate any pressure the medical community has treating the coronavirus.
Frenk has often been criticized in the past for not having a hands-on approach with the athletic programs. That is and should be James’ job. Being a spokesman for the University of Miami and the pandemic, in general, is positive publicity for Miami. That helps the entire University of Miami community.