Verge Ausberry: Lots still up in the air as LSU readies for college football
BATON ROUGE – LSU’s deputy athletic director shared some insight into the Tigers’ coronavirus-amended schedule on sports radio Friday afternoon.
Verge Ausberry appeared on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge during the Hangin’ with Hester program.
“There’s just so many questions, this is going to be a day-by-day, meeting-by-meeting, 24-hour a day thing until we get all the answers,” he said about the changing landscape related to safely holding sporting events.
It’s been a busy week for Ausberry and associates at LSU: The SEC revealed its ten-game plan that will feature matchups of SEC-only programs. Then, LSU revealed it will work with season ticket holders who may not want to keep their tickets for the season. And, Friday, LSU said seating inside Tiger Stadium will be different.
A short part of the radio conversation Friday featured a discussion about stadium capacity, which will be set by state or Baton Rouge code based on the current re-opening phase.
Ausberry said as of Friday, Phase 2 may allow for 50% capacity, but things are ever-changing. The governor said Thursday, either he or the EBR mayor-president would add clarity later.
Though, the governor's office cautioned any assumption so early, in a statement a spokesperson said: "LSU Football is scheduled to kick off two months from now, and it would be purely speculative to say what kind of capacity guidelines there will be for gatherings and events at that time. The state guidance on events will be based on what is occurring on the ground in late September, especially in terms of new case counts and the rate of hospitalizations. We are hopeful that Louisianans will heed the Governor’s mandates and advice, including wearing masks when they are in public, keeping social distance, staying home when they are sick and washing their hands frequently, so we can reduce the spread of COVID in the state."
The capacity conversation is about five minutes into the interview, which ESPN Baton Rouge posted on its website. Click HERE to listen to the interview.
Overall, Ausberry said he is satisfied with how the SEC has handled reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s a good plan,” he said about the initial 10-game schedule being worked out.
He said specific details are still being worked out with the SEC as to whether the schedules are just updated to add more conference games or if they’ll be totally re-worked.
Specific to the now canceled LSU vs. Texas game originally scheduled for September, Ausberry said LSU hopes to be able to work with UT officials to find a way to eventually play the game. But, with schedules set years in advance, there are a lot of moving parts.
Although, he said, the two schools will have a “conversation soon about what direction we’re going to take,” related to the Texas game.
SEC football will start September 26. LSU is scheduled to face Ole Miss that day.
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