On Monday afternoon, the University of Tennessee held their weekly episode of Vol Calls — a radio show in which people associated with the University answer questions from Vol Fans. During the show, Tennessee’s Director of Athletics, Phillip Fulmer, addressed the Coronavirus Pandemic, which has shut down all athletic events at the University of Tennessee, and at all other schools who are members of the SEC.
Fulmer made his view on how the University of Tennessee would handle the Coronavirus Pandemic crystal clear, “The gathering of people together spreads this virus and we are going to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.” Fulmer also voiced his support for bringing all athletic events to a halt, “We will not be having meetings and certainly there will be no practices until further notice.” Fulmer would go on to state that no workouts would be taking place at the University of Tennessee during the pandemic either.
The former football coach also said that while the University heavily encouraged all of its students to remain home and take classes online that students who needed to come back to campus would be allowed to, “The ones that need to come back to campus for some reason will come back to campus.” Fulmer went on to state, “(Those may be) the young people that might not have the best of home situations, some of our international people. We are likely going to encourage people to stay home and take their classes online. If they come back, we will support them from a nutrition standpoint, and from the medical standpoint, and from a mental health standpoint. Those are obvious needs that will be taken care of.”
Fulmer also told the listeners of Vol Calls, “Our lives have changed and been interrupted like never before,” and went on to state that while the decisions were tough to make, they were necessary for the safety of student athletes, “It came down to, ‘What was the right thing to do for society?’”
He would go on to praise the SEC’s leadership, “I haven’t been here that long, but there’s an almost unprecedented agreement of how we are working together and battling through this health crisis.”
With recent models showing that the pandemic could stretch into August, it remains unclear when things will return to normal, but for now Fulmer, and everyone in Tennessee’s administration, is taking the situation very seriously.