An Update From Mark Coyle - May 8, 2020

BleedGopher

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per the U:

Gophers,

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

This is a challenging and historic time in the world. The novel coronavirus has affected all of us in different ways. Our University community, which includes the athletic department, is facing some unknowns as it collectively navigates these choppy waters.

Earlier today, Rhonda McFarland, who is our Deputy AD and Chief Financial Officer, and myself had the opportunity to present to the Board of Regents about how COVID-19 has affected our sporting landscape. I want to thank the Board, President Joan Gabel and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren for their continued support of athletics and guidance during these past few months. You can view our presentation here and watch a replay of the Board meeting here.

In previous times of national uncertainty, people have turned to sports as part of the healing process. And no doubt they will again. I talk daily with fellow athletic directors in the Big Ten and with some of the most prominent collegiate sports leaders in the nation. The situations that we will encounter will not be unique to Minnesota. Every University and athletic department in the country will be faced with circumstances similar to ours as they begin to emerge from these troubling times.

One question that people keep asking is, "When will college sports return?" While we do not know that answer, we do know that sports will continue to be part of the fabric of this University, community and state.

I view sports as the great connector, a common rallying point that has that ability to bond strangers and the best of friends. Sports are about so much more than what happens on the field, ice or court.

Sports are about moments and memories.

They are about photos with Goldy, road trips to away games, tailgating with friends and yearly reunions with college roommates. Sports are about catching a foul ball or waiting out a rain delay with another hot dog and Coke. They are about singing the rouser, storming the field and rushing the court. Sports are about Saturday watch parties in Maroon and Gold basements and serve as a natural conversation starter at holiday gatherings. They are about superstitions and always sitting in the same seat or wearing the same lucky sweatshirt, hat or socks. They are about newborn outfits and photos of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Sports are about lifting others up.

Some of my favorite memories of my time at Minnesota involve our football team's charitable efforts surrounding their diaper drives, turkey drives, school supplies drive and canned food drives. They are about team visits to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital and about cancer survivor Casey O'Brien receiving the Disney Spirit Award on ESPN. They are about our volleyball team's newest member Cora, which was facilitated through Team Impact

Sports are about hope.

Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for another opportunity at glory, another historic season, another buzzer beater on the road, another between-the-legs shootout goal and another no-hitter. They are about sportsmanship and helping your competitor cross the finish line when they are not strong enough to reach it themselves. They are about giving your best even when your best isn't good enough. They are about never giving up.

I do not know when we will compete again, but I do know that we will be here for you when that time comes. We will be ready to provide those memories and moments. We will be ready to inspire and lift others up. We will be ready to spread hope.

If there is anything our staff can do to assist you, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are here if you need us – fans@gopherfanrelations.com or 1-800-U-GOPHER.

Be safe, practice social distancing and know that we will get through this together.

Go Gophers and United Are We!

Mark


Go Gophers!!
 

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Read: stop emailing me asking when sports will return.

But I don't blame him - we don't know yet.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Read: stop emailing me asking when sports will return.

But I don't blame him - we don't know yet.
I give him credit for not guessing or hinting or anything too.

All the armchair epidemiologist stuff out there is just too much. I have less faith in the folks out there guessing like mad than the ones keeping quiet.
 

Veritas

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A nothing update with no update on anything. Thanks for the non update. Next time, don't bother.
Go Gophers!!
 

Some guy

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A nothing update with no update on anything. Thanks for the non update. Next time, don't bother.
Go Gophers!!
I agree it was a non update.
A lot of people wanted it. I didn’t need it. I’m happy to see he didn’t speculate like so many in the sports world are doing. Good responsible leadership. Next time don’t read it.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I agree it was a non update.
A lot of people wanted it. I didn’t need it. I’m happy to see he didn’t speculate like so many in the sports world are doing. Good responsible leadership. Next time don’t read it.
I think sometimes non updates are just ... "Hey I really don't have any updates." and that can be better than radio silence.

Esepically needed when you have other ADs flapping their lips.
 
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fair

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I agree it was a non update.
A lot of people wanted it. I didn’t need it. I’m happy to see he didn’t speculate like so many in the sports world are doing. Good responsible leadership. Next time don’t read it.
Exactly. There's nothing he can confidently tell us, so he didn't try to predict the future. Even as AD, he's pretty powerless in determining what will happen with sports in the near future. Teams can't practice until campus reopens and the B1G/NCAA allows it.
 

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A nothing update with no update on anything. Thanks for the non update. Next time, don't bother.
Go Gophers!!
I don't blame him at all for sending it. I'll be he's getting a bunch of calls/emails every day asking for answers. He doesn't have answers. You can keep everyone in the loop and just tell them that we're monitoring the situation and we'll let you know when we have answers and will provide updates as we get them.

I coach a traveling soccer team and have been passing along similar "nothing" updates just so my families know what's going on (or not going on).
 

MNVCGUY

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I don't blame him at all for sending it. I'll be he's getting a bunch of calls/emails every day asking for answers. He doesn't have answers. You can keep everyone in the loop and just tell them that we're monitoring the situation and we'll let you know when we have answers and will provide updates as we get them.

I coach a traveling soccer team and have been passing along similar "nothing" updates just so my families know what's going on (or not going on).
Exactly. There are lots of people who jump to wild conclusions when they don't hear anything for an extended period of time, so sometimes it is nice to get a status report from those in the know even if it doesn't come with a lot of specifics or details.

But I mean come on....is anyone here surprised that Veritas would be angered by it?
 

MNVCGUY

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Grumpiness makes you look older than you have to be.?

Smile, and light up those around you. ??
Yeah but all those people around him are drunks so he isn't worried about lightening up their days :)

Sorry, couldn't resist.
 

GoGophersUMN

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Why are they still selling tickets if he doesn't know if we'll be ready to compete in time for those games?

I know things can change but he should either set a time when he plans for Gopher sports to return or stop selling tickets. If things get worse that date can change but if they want people to pay for tickets he should at least clearly state that if things stay the same or get better the Gophers will play their full football season with fans. If that's not the case they shouldn't be selling tickets to games that they don't plan on playing/allowing fans at.
 
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The athletic department, represented by Mark Coyle and Rhonda McFarland, made a presentation to the Regents today. The info sent out in the email is a follow up to that presentation. If you wish to view the presentation material, it is here:


The overall picture is not pretty if school doesn't open and sports don't go at full speed.

Not much good news to share in an update to fans.
 

BilldGopher

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After receiving a personal response from the AD just prior to the extension of the ticket buying deadline, this was fine with me.

This has to be hard on the student athletes in particular. Most have worked very hard to get to this point. Wishing them the best along with all of the U's community and supporters.
 

Plato

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The unemployment rate is at levels seen in the Great Depression.
The economy is 66% driven by consumer spending. Only fools who think they are immortal are going out in public and spending , that is if they have a job.

The Federal Government has abandoned any attempt to facilitate the development of testing for the virus and antibodies showing immunity. The Gates Foundation and United Health have taken up the slack.
Germany who has a leader who knows science did all the right things and is doing all the right things and sports without a packed stadium is beginning there.
Sports like the economy depends on the virus being controlled, a vaccine and a curative treatment.
 

Pete smith

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Unfortunately we have a Governor who isn’t smart enough to get out of the rain. And yes he carry’s an umbrella. When statistics show you can catch the virus being locked in your house at the same rate as you get shopping. Unfortunately we are under his orders. All in all, I thought AD Coyle letter was necessary.
 

Veritas

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Grumpiness makes you look older than you have to be.?

Smile, and light up those around you. ??
"Oh thank you Mr. Coyle, your message is not only the highlight of my day but will lighten the doubts and concerns of all Americans. We are all in this together!"

Better ?‍♂ ?‍♂
 

Veritas

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I don't blame him at all for sending it. I'll be he's getting a bunch of calls/emails every day asking for answers. He doesn't have answers. You can keep everyone in the loop and just tell them that we're monitoring the situation and we'll let you know when we have answers and will provide updates as we get them.

I coach a traveling soccer team and have been passing along similar "nothing" updates just so my families know what's going on (or not going on).
A simple "we will not know jack until June 1" would have sufficed.
 

howeda7

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Pretty good letter all things considered.

He maybe could have addressed the removal of the heating coyles ... but these are difficult times.
I think he should have addressed standing vs sitting in the post-social distancing era. :cool:
 

howeda7

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Unfortunately we have a Governor who isn’t smart enough to get out of the rain. And yes he carry’s an umbrella. When statistics show you can catch the virus being locked in your house at the same rate as you get shopping. Unfortunately we are under his orders. All in all, I thought AD Coyle letter was necessary.
Not unless someone in your house has it.
 

Mulligan

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Unfortunately we have a Governor who isn’t smart enough to get out of the rain. And yes he carry’s an umbrella. When statistics show you can catch the virus being locked in your house at the same rate as you get shopping. Unfortunately we are under his orders. All in all, I thought AD Coyle letter was necessary.
Says the guy who can't write one sentence out of five correctly without simple writing errors. Not a good luck when you're claiming someone else is stupid.
 

Cruze

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Unfortunately we have a Governor who isn’t smart enough to get out of the rain. And yes he carry’s an umbrella. When statistics show you can catch the virus being locked in your house at the same rate as you get shopping.
This is Trumpster level stupid. It's not a good look, Pete.
 

Plato

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Unfortunately we have a Governor who isn’t smart enough to get out of the rain. And yes he carry’s an umbrella. When statistics show you can catch the virus being locked in your house at the same rate as you get shopping. Unfortunately we are under his orders. All in all, I thought AD Coyle letter was necessary.
Would you care to provide the source for said statistics?
If one is "locked in your house" how does one have the same chance as being infected as one has while shopping as I presume you shop without gloves or a mask to show the world you are in sympathy with our president and the virus is nothing to fear and you are a "warrior"?
 

GoldenRodents

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Would you care to provide the source for said statistics?
If one is "locked in your house" how does one have the same chance as being infected as one has while shopping as I presume you shop without gloves or a mask to show the world you are in sympathy with our president and the virus is nothing to fear and you are a "warrior"?
Ask the governor of New York...
 

MplsGopher

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There isn't anything to update, yet.

Everything depends on football. And right now, college presidents and boards are still trying to use football as part of the carrot on the stick to get leaders sign off on having students physically on campus. That's the end all, be all, for higher education right now. As people have correctly pointed out, a virtual model will largely kill off higher education as it has been built up. They desperately need students physically on campus.

Sans some drastic, lethal mutation by the virus, there will be football this fall, and there will be fans in the stands. It will be spaced out, similar to how the St Paul Saints (and others) have announced. Skip every other row, and the whole row won't be used up, space between groups of seats.

So you'll have maybe 10-15k in the 50k stadium, but it will be something.

We'll at least have the Big Ten season. Maybe they'll extend it to 10 (or more) conf games, if non-conf opponents can't come through.
 
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