Some student-athletes spent their whole lives preparing to play in March Madness, only to have those dreams taken away by the coronavirus just days before the event was set to take place. For many others around the country, injuries forced them to alter their aspirations much earlier.
The University of Kentucky has changed its strength and conditioning plans for the near future. They’ve also made slight adjustments for rehabilitating athletes that continue to receive treatment.
Coronavirus closures began as UK’s students were departing campus for spring break. Prior to every break in classes on campus, trainers work with rehabbing student-athletes to find facilities in or near their hometown where they can continue to seek care. The treatment they perform with physical therapists elsewhere mimics the program they followed at UK.
With this infrastructure already in place, student-athletes who returned home for spring break simply had to extend their stay at the new facility. The school’s insurance covers treatment even though it is not provided on-site.
Not everyone returned home for spring break.
Athletics director Mitch Barnhart, director of sports medicine Jim Madaleno and head trainer Gabe Amponsah coordinated efforts to limit personnel in the training room by staggering treatment times at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, giving student-athletes who remained in Lexington the medical attention they require to rehabilitate injuries.
The means Lexington native Davonte Robinson can still receive PT from the same trainer at UK during the coronavirus pandemic. If Terry Wilson opted not to return to Oklahoma and remain at his off-campus house, the same applies to him.
The Joe Craft Football Training Facility remains opens to the limited personnel that are rehabbing, but it does not give players the option to use workout facility. At one point UK’s staff considered taping a Pro Day for potential professional football prospects, but even that is currently off the table. Kash Daniel, Ahmad Wagner, Calvin Taylor Jr., T.J. Carter, Logan Stenberg and Lynn Bowden must find their own creative ways to stay in shape as the NFL decides how they will proceed with next month’s draft.