Winbush discusses financial impact on athletics, more potential cancellations due to COVID-19

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., – Due to cancellations from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shepherd University athletic department will save funds that were to be used on travel while revenue gained from fundraisers and summer camps may potentially be lost, according to Vice President for Athletics Chauncey Winbush.

“Several sports rely on summer camp revenue to supplement budgetary needs such as scholarships, equipment and salaries,” Winbush said.

According to Winbush, internal discussions regarding summer cancellations are still ongoing. The future of events in the fall have not yet been discussed.

As for the spring, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced on March 13 that it would be cancelling the remainder of the spring season.

“The conference commissioner initiated immediate meetings with the PSAC athletic directors once COVID-19 seemed to be a more serious threat,” Winbush said. “We discussed the concerns and issues at PSAC member institutions and how the spread of the virus might impact the spring season.”

Chauncey Winbush was named Shepherd’s vice president for athletics in July 2016. Photo courtesy of the Shepherd Athletic Department.

Winbush said the conference’s board of presidents ultimately decided to cancel spring sports, as individual institutions across the country were already moving in that direction.

With the spring season being ended so early, athletes whose season was cancelled will have a chance to come back with another year of eligibility in 2021. This is especially impactful to seniors who want to be able to play a full final season with their school.

“This is a process that we are still working through, and I am optimistic that we will have several senior spring sport athletes return for the 2021 seasons,” Winbush said.

Operations of the athletic department that take place on campus have all but shut down due to stay-at-home orders and other guidelines issued by the state.

“I have been utilizing the recommendations from the university and county to dictate my schedule,” Winbush said. “For instance, I have been working from home for this entire week due to the new recommendations by the state of West Virginia and Jefferson County.”

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