Softball vs Kansas

Tennessee softball Co-head Coaches Ralph and Karen Weekly with Haley Bearden, #11, during game against Kansas on Feb. 22, 2019 at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

Following the cancelation of all SEC sports for the remainder of the regular and postseason, Tennessee head coaches gathered for a press conference to discuss the surrounding circumstances of each team and what the future holds for Tennessee athletics as they process the news of a lost season.

Tennessee softball co-head coach Karen Weekly spoke out regarding how her team is coping with these changes.

“There’s obviously a lot of emotions, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of fear, a lot of confusion,” Weekly said. “I think what I was most proud of with our student athletes was, despite their disappointment about softball, they quickly saw the bigger picture and that this is about a world health crisis. This is about taking care of the greater good and each of us has a responsibility in that respect to do our part to curve the spread of the virus.”

Regarding the next steps the Lady Vols softball team intend to take, Weekly is focused on solid communication.

“My bigger concern is not competition, and not how much they’re working out right now,” Weekly said. “It’s more about are they taking care of themselves, are they taking care of each other, are they doing what they need to do make sure this virus doesn’t spread.”

Weekly emphasized the importance of quarantining and flattening the curve of the Coronavirus for the sake of the older generation and setting an example for those in the younger generations.

Weekly also addressed the new NCAA eligibility grants as they pertain to all athletes, not just seniors, among the softball team.

“Friday, we got the word that the NCAA definitely wanted to grant eligibility relief,” Weekly said. “Obviously we don’t know those details yet, so in our team meeting on Friday we were able to bring that message to them and say that at least there’s hope here. I think that was one of their biggest concerns when it came to softball.”

Weekly and other Tennessee coaches have worked with all athletes to discuss the details surrounding how each team will cope with the interrupted seasons and how they plan to continue into the future as they prepare for next season.

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