Gulf Coast athletic director discusses volleyball and basketball seasons getting pushed back

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – With the NJCAA’s big decision to postpone a lot of sports to next year, Gulf Coast is now planning their fall practices and figuring out schedules for January.

Gulf Coast athletic director Mike Kandler said it isn’t going to be difficult to have volleyball and basketball going on at the same time.

“We’ll figure out how we are gonna do it, and it’s gonna take some cooperation from the coaches. They may not have access to the gym as much as they are used to,” Kandler said. “That’s the least of my worries, and I think any coach would gladly trade a little bit of gym time as opposed to not even having a season.”

Kandler, like other AD’s in the area, thinks the NJCAA made the right decision to postpone the sports to next year as it gives them some more time to figure out what is going on with the pandemic.

He did say there is some scheduling logistics to figure out as the amount of games have been cut down in each sport, basketball from 30 games to just 22.

“There’s a possibility, it hasn’t been worked out yet that we might go to 16 conference games instead of 12. Well that’s gonna make the Panhandle that much more grueling, if that were to happen, but at the same time you are only trying to find six non-conference games instead of 10 non-conference games,” Kandler said. “Some of those things will be worked out as AD’s we will be meeting over the next couple of weeks and I kinda look forward to see what is the best possible schedule to put out there.”

Kandler said it is great the NJCAA is allowing them to have some practice time this fall. The basketball and volleyball teams will each get to play some scrimmages as well before the season starts.

“It’s a key, you got play against somebody else at some point. That’s how you get better and that’s how you kinda figure out what your team can and can’t do,” Kandler said. “The fact that they put in some scrimmages, which certainly is a much safer environment, you can certainly have scrimmages without fans, without concession stands without a lot of people around. I’m really glad they decided to do that and if the science says those things can’t be done, you don’t have to do it either.”

He said the good thing about their conference and state is that they’ve always helped each other out in times like this.

“We got a lot of really bright people, other than myself, there’s some really bright AD’s out there that will figure out the best thing for us and I think it’s gonna be a good thing,” Kandler said. “Hopefully in January some of these rules have changed and the virus is a little bit more under control and we get back to, a word we use here in Bay County too much, normalcy.” 

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