FAYETTEVILLE — Hunter Yurachek, University of Arkansas’ vice-chancellor and director of athletics, was a guest on The Show With No Name on 103.7 The Buzz Friday and stated his displeasure with the NCAA’s handling of championships games and tournaments for spring sports due to the spread of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the NCAA canceled such events as the College World Series as well as other championships and did so with basically no communication with athletic directors.
“I found out the way the rest of the world found out, through Twitter,” Yurachek said. “I was actually in-flight on the way back from Nashville, landed to the news that the NCAA had canceled championships. That’s how I found out as athletic director at the University of Arkansas.
“I didn’t have a chance to let our coaches know. I didn’t have a chance to let our student-athletes know. That’s what’s really disappointing to me about how this was communicated and how the decision was arrived at, and so I’m meeting with our head coaches later today. We’ll set up some things for our student-athletes. And we’ve got to decide how to move forward.”
The SEC Basketball Tournament was canceled after just one day. Arkansas played Vanderbilt in the last game before the decision was made to cancel it. Yurachek though didn’t understand why event such as the College World Series in June were already canceled.
“I think it made sense from a basketball standpoint,” Yurachek said. “What’s really disappointing to me is what we did yesterday with our spring sports and canceling all those championships. Some of those championships are in June. Unless somebody well above me has some information I don’t have, I really thought that was jumping the gun.
“Quite candidly, I’m very disappointed in the leadership of the NCAA and how that was not communicated to any conferences or any member institutions. That our student-athletes here on our campus heard that news the same way everybody else in society heard.”
While Yurachek was disappointed in the NCAA’s handling, he heaped plenty of praise on SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.
“Greg Sankey has been unbelievable in how he has communicated and how he has rallied our conference,” Yurachek said. “We have done everything in unison. We have made decisions collectively as 14 member institutions. His leadership during this last 72 hours has been incredible, and I can’t thank him enough for that. But the leadership, in my opinion, the NCAA has been less than that. Very, very disappointed.”