ECU AD Jon Gilbert: “It is not going to be a normal fall.”

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 9:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 9:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert continued his transparency with Pirate Nation during the COVID-19 pandemic by speaking virtually during Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce’s power luncheon Wednesday afternoon.

Gilbert hit on several important notes, including the fact that ECU women’s basketball head coach Kim McNeill will be heading a new Racial Equality Task Force.

The ECU Director of Athletics also said he will have a good idea on the fall sports season by August 1, adding that everything is still on the table.

Gilbert said he is not in favor of playing football games at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with no fans, but also stressed that this will be a “survival year, not a revenue year.”

In regards to the Norfolk State football game, Gilbert said that game will be pushed back to a later date at a later time.

Live Updates From Tyler Feldman’s Twitter

#ECU AD Jon Gilbert on the return of fall sports: “I do think that we’ll have a good idea by August 1.” Gilbert is currently speaking via Zoom to the the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.

Gilbert says he is also implementing a “Racial Equality Task Force” within the #ECU athletics department. @ECUWBB head coach @ECUCoachKim will be heading this new initiative.

Gilbert is also hitting on the name, image and likeness conversation. He says he is all for his student-athletes benefiting from this change.

In regards to the fall sports season, Gilbert says “everything is still on the table... but it is not going to be a typical fall.” He says 50 percent or less capacity will likely be the case inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. “I am not in favor of playing games w/o fans.”

#ECU AD JG: “It’s really hard to be strategic right now. With COVID, we’ve been extremely reactionary, and I think that reactionary period is going to last a little while longer.”

If a CFB season does happen, Gilbert says it will be a much different look inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. No spirit squads on the field. Limited fans in the stands. Make the gameday experience as “bubble” like as possible to keep the student-athletes safe.

Gilbert says the #AAC is working on multiple models for a flexible football schedule this coming fall. “No landing spot” has been determined just yet though. That will happen around August 1, according to Gilbert.

“We’ve had no formal discussions about how tailgating [outside DFS] will be at this time.” —#ECU AD Jon Gilbert

“This coming year is not a revenue year, it will be a survival year.” —#ECU AD Jon Gilbert

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