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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

AD Jeff Long expects fans to be allowed at KU football games

Long anticipates capacity will be 50% or less

Kansas wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. (5) left, and Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) come in to celebrate with Kansas wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II (8) after Lassiter's touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Stephon Robinson Jr. (5) left, and Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) come in to celebrate with Kansas wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter II (8) after Lassiter's touchdown during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

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Though nothing has been finalized on the matter, University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long expects there to be fans in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium when the Jayhawks open their 2020 season on Sept. 12.

“That’s just my thought at this point,” Long said during a video conference with reporters on Wednesday night. “It has to be approved by the county.”

Just how many tickets would be available in the 47,000-seat capacity venue remains up in the air, too, Long said. But he said the COVID-19 pandemic definitely won’t allow KU to fill its stadium completely, and he expects the revised capacity will land at 50% or less.

Long said the final number of seats available will be “largely based on” what medical officials in Douglas County endorse after KU’s athletic department presents its plan to a university COVID-19 strategy team.

Without getting into the specifics involved with how KU will determine which fans have access to tickets, Long said it will be tied to Williams Education Fund donations. He said employees from the fund and ticket office have been working behind the scenes to map out different capacities.

“Once we know from the county medical group what we’re allowed to do, we’ll start informing our season ticket holders and donors about their seats and where they’ll be located,” Long said.

Although KU hasn’t yet announced the football team’s season-opening opponent, Long said the game will be played a month from now, on Sept. 12. It will not be against Southern Illinois, the team KU was scheduled to face on Aug. 29.

No waivers for football players

Long said KU has not presented its football players with any liability waivers tied to competing during the pandemic.

The NCAA banned the use of COVID-19 liability waivers earlier this summer, though some programs tried to implement them before that when players returned to campus for workouts.

“We protected ourselves by having the highest-quality medical care possible for our student-athletes,” Long said.

New fall sports look

It's not just football that will play an abridged schedule this year: The Big 12 decided while moving forward with fall sports that it would also limit its volleyball and soccer teams to conference games exclusively.

“The health and safety issues we’re discussing with football all flowed down to soccer and volleyball,” Long said, adding that medical consultants grouped those sports with football in that there is a higher probability for COVID-19 to spread by contact.

Long said KU’s other fall sport, cross country, is considered a lesser risk, and the Big 12 is still working through some decisions before coming up with a final strategy for how its cross country teams will compete.

Comments

Len Shaffer 1 month, 1 week ago

Absolutely insane. This country is truly out of its mind.

Michael Leiker 1 month, 1 week ago

Elaborate which side of insane spectrum you lie?

Bret Eckert 1 month, 1 week ago

Life goes on Len. We can't live in a bubble forever.

Brian Wilson 1 month, 1 week ago

Unless we start out 4-0, it will only be half full anyway. One can only hope that KU is that good!

Phil Leister 1 month, 1 week ago

We've been preparing for 50% stadium capacity for the last decade.

Bee Bee 1 month, 1 week ago

Things you can do in person. Riot Loot Arson Steal Commit battery Destroy property Kill innocent people/law enforcement

Things you can't do in person. Church School Gyms Concerts Family funerals (with exceptions for certain people) Family gatherings Sporting events

The NERVOUS NELLIES can stay home on game day. I will get a parking spot closer to the stadium. ROCK CHALK!

James Hubin 1 month, 1 week ago

The headline in the article is literally that people WILL be allowed into football games this fall.

I don't know what it's like where you live or in Lawrence? In Denver there is no rampant rioting, looting, arson, stealing, battery, property destruction, or killing of innocent people/ law enforcement. Although a few Aurora police did kill an innocent young man recently.

Bee Bee, you definitely need to get out of the house, so you can take a little break from watching Fox and OAN and realize that the list you posted is only happening in your news bubble, not in the real world.

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