ZACH RUBIO | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun expressed cautious optimism for a fall sports season in September.
He feels good about the protocols and environment WSU Athletics has put into place to keep student-athletes and staff safe, Chun said during a virtual press conference Friday afternoon.
“We feel great about our chances of getting ready for all of our fall sports,” Chun said. “Hopefully the Pac-12 is with us and hopefully we’re all having positive conversations and talking about sports by the time September gets here.”
He said 216 WSU student-athletes have returned for voluntary workouts since the Pac-12 allowed them to begin on June 15.
All of the returning student-athletes have been tested for COVID-19 since returning, Chun said. The amount of times a student-athlete is tested depends on how long they have been in Pullman. Three student-athletes have tested positive, and two of the three are roommates.
He said the first step to progress toward holding practices is getting word from the Pac-12 about an official start date. The university will work with state and local health officials once they receive that date.
The Pac-12 has been reporting good testing numbers, and every school is doing their best to ensure fall sports happen, he said.
“We’re one-twelfth of an equation to try to get to the fall,” he said. “So the most important thing for us is to focus on our one-twelfth of it.”
Chun said WSU Athletics are having discussions about allowing fans to attend games if games do happen. It is a health and safety decision and the department will err on the side of caution.
“We’re still a ways to go to figure out where we’re going to be in terms of if we even have fans in the stands,” he said.
After being appointed to the Division 1 Council earlier this month, Chun said he is in constant communication with the NCAA.
“As the Pac-12 rep, me personally, I’m in communication more with the NCAA probably than I’ve ever been,” he said.