“Aztecs Leadership…A +”
In the toughest of times, the leader has guided his athletic program thru these toughest of times.
Leadership not thru a (1-12) football season. Not in the midst of an NCAA investigation. Not over student or fan unrest. Not about alumni unhappiness with coaches.
But standing tall as the Covid Virus ravages the nation, threatens his Athletic program on Montezuma Mesa.
San Diego State’s athletic director leadership has come in all shapes and sizes over my 33-years here. Snake oil salesman. Glad-handers. Doers. Street fighters. Stand tall businessmen.
San Diego State’s leadership deserves credit at this hour, much of it going to AD-John David Wicker.
He is on the brink of great things, helping engineer thru the creation of the property purchase at SDCCU Stadium for a new home for his football and soccer teams, and the bigger project that will result in the front door campus expansion over the next 30-years in Mission Valley.
But Wicker’s handling of 5-months of crisis management is spectacular at this hour. What he and his staff of Associated ADs have accomplished behind locked doors deserves praise.
Sadly there will be no Aztecs football season this fall, with hopes it can be played in the spring, along with the other cancelled fall sports.
The Aztecs now are no different that USC-UCLA, the other Mountain West Conference teams, the Pac 12, Big 10 and assorted other Division 1-1AA-II-III conferences that have cancelled the fall seasons.
Wicker stood on the firing line on Tuesday to address anything-everything we in the media presented him:
..They never taught us in AD school how to handle a Pandemic..the George Floyd situation..A Budget crisis…Cancellations of a season…students united unrest.
..It’s like a career covered in just 5-months time.
..Scared most by not knowing how to handle a pandemic.
..There are inherit risks of injury when you play a season
..We recognize and understand football risks.
..With covid-the risks are unknown-we don’t understand it
..We could lose 12M this season if we don’t play-no fans-TV money
..We have arranged a loan from the university if losses that high
..We have had no salary reductions or furloughs on our staffs
..We could play 8-to-10 games in spring
..Have yet to decide whether UCLA would be part of schedule
..There could still be college bowl games or championship in spring
..Playing 2-football seasons in 1-year may be challenging
..Basketball season could start in January
..Easier protocols for basketball much fewer people involved
..Obstacles to playing in the spring-health and safety of everyone
..We have yet to flatten the curve
..We have to further develop a saliva test
..We hope for a vaccine early in 2021
..Playing all our sports in spring..stresses our medical team-events team
..Our plan will be very labor-intensive
..NCAA will announce plan for player eligibility if seasons cancelled
..NCAA will decide August 21st on fall championship plans for spring
..Future is so bright for Aztecs..this is so disappointing for football..just like our basketball team not going to the NCAA tourney.
..We will honor all scholarships whether players play or want opt-out
..Have been very transparent with athletes and families
..Zoom meetings to assure them the athletes will be protected
..Met with players about MWC players standing united
..Now was not the right time to play..health risks too great
..Plan is to keep athletes on campus for workouts
..We will further develop housing-testing-medical plans
..We have an extensive re-population plan
..We will develop a new phase-in plan for fall football practices
..Last 24-hours..last 5-months..most challenging time of my career.
..We have researched everything..thought deeply everything
..Talked to athletic people..talked to medical people non-stop
JD Wicker said lots of things about his Aztecs program, and everything swirling about the Aztecs Athletic Center.
What I will say, is job well-done in terms of intelligent leadership in the absolute worst of times, not just at San Diego State, but across the nation in college athletics.
Aztecs leadership…an “A +”