Chris Del Conte’s optimistic about return of fall sports, planning for every scenario

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chris Del Conte is bullishly optimistic when it comes whether or not he thinks football and other fall sports will start on time.

“We’re gonna have competition, I promise you that,” Del Conte said during a Zoom teleconference on Wednesday.

The Texas athletics director doesn’t have any extra insight or knowledge, but the way he puts it, he has to have that mindset — while also planning for every other possible scenario.

“You live in the now and you have to have a positive attitude of what’s going on now, but I have four different committees,” Del Conte said.

The committees deal with everything involving the athletics department, from the athletes and staffs, to game management, donors and concessions.

“Those committees are constantly forward-thinking,” Del Conte said. “I tell them we will make decisions in the now, but you need to start getting our head around what can happen, knowing that the landscape of college athletics, we just don’t know where it is right now. It’s ever-evolving.”

But every possible scenario raises a new set of questions, including a return to a pre-coronavirus normalcy.

“I’m planning for an august start, bringing our student-athletes back in June,” Del Conte said. “How we’re gonna bring our student-athletes back, what we’re gonna do if we bring them back on campus, how are we gonna quarantine them, what we’re gonna do to get them ready,” Del Conte rhetorically asked. “And then the coaches say we need about six weeks, so you just start to work with every single model that we have out there, and that’s exactly how we’re going about it.”

Like the rest of the world, though, Del Conte just doesn’t know what will happen. And while that’s a cause for concern, his approach with that is simple.

“You better be honest with your student-athletes, with your coaching staff, honest with your donors and your fans and your supporters and just honestly keep them updated,” Del Conte said. “But I live in the now. So what makes you nervous about it is just the unknowns. so I plan knowing that we’re gonna have football in the fall. But every contingency that you guys float out, I just tease out. What if this happens? You gotta play the what-if game.”

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