No spring football means more time at home for Gary Bass, QU football
Spring football is usually a time for college programs to get back on the practice field after a long winter, scrimmage, and get their bodies and minds ready for the grind that is a college football season.
However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, spring practices and all other athletic activities and competitions have been canceled for the remainder of the spring semester. For head coach Gary Bass, this means time away from his team, but it also means time with his wife, Melaney, and their two children.
“My wife’s been cleaning like crazy,” he said. “My daughter just turned six, and she kind of understands what’s going on, but not totally. She just knows Daddy’s home a lot. Our son’s about 15 months old, so he’s just running around like a crazy person anyway. It’s nice to be able to be home and spend some more time with them, though, for sure.”
Being away from each other has tested the QU football program, as they have had to come up with new ways to engage with one another without having much physical interaction at all. Bass said this situation takes him back to his high school coaching days in North Carolina.
“We weren’t allowed to have spring ball there, so outside of lifting and things, we weren’t really doing much different from what we’re doing right now,” he said.
Bass said, especially now, academics are front and center.
“The biggest thing we’re spending time on right now is making sure they’re getting everything they need to get done online,” he said. “For some of those kids, that’s not the mode of education they want. You want the face-to-face interaction, of course, but trying to get our guys off to a good start from that standpoint is huge. Our position coaches have set up our academic performance on Zoom just to make sure everybody stays on top of everything they need to do.”
Team meetings are conducted on Zoom every Friday.
“Those are more or less a way to get information to the guys but be face-to-face with each other, let them talk to each other and spend time with each other a little bit,” Bass said.
Bass said as long as we recognize the seriousness of this situation, our chances of having football to look forward to in the fall increase significantly.
“We could have no football season if people don’t adhere to what’s going on,” he said. “We just need to recognize how serious this is. If we want a football season or any season moving forward, people are going to have to pay attention and take this stuff seriously.”
These are trying times in the United States and around the world. This will be over at some point, but the sooner we do our part as individuals, the sooner we can get back to what we call “normal.”
Bass said it comes down to one word:
“Character, who you are when nobody’s watching… For humanity’s sake, people have to understand that tough times require tough people. In order to be that, you have to realize that things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to go. They’re going to be difficult. It’s all about doing it together, not trying to do it separate.
“People are panicking because these gates get closed, this door gets closed, this country’s closed,” he continued. “People are going to make decisions, but ultimately, we have to stick together as a human race more than anything else. We have something trying to kill everyone equally, not just the U.S. or anybody else. It’s important for us to sit back, reflect, be smart, do what we’re supposed to do consistently over and over. (If we do that), I think everything will be okay.
“Love each other, care for each other, and be as helpful and humble as humanly possible in these times for everybody.”