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ASU’s Ray Anderson lays out COVID-19’s impact on football team

Arizona State athletic director and VP for university athletics Ray Anderson (Matt Bertram/Arizona Sports)

Arizona State Vice President of Athletics Ray Anderson gave an update on the school’s football program as it comes out of COVID-19-related quarantine.

Anderson, appearing on Wednesday’s episode of 98.7 FM Arizona Sports’ Anderson & Healey Show Podcast, said the team’s current coronavirus situation is trending in the right direction, but that the department is taking matters day by day right now.

“The virus is insidious and once it’s in your midst it doesn’t let up from one day to the other,” Anderson said. “So you have to test every day.

“If you have to isolate, contact trace and then quarantine. You’ve got to follow the protocols, the procedures, the rules, the policies and that’s what we’re doing and we’ll continue to do that.”

Anderson said the Sun Devils’ focus right now is ensuring that players have adequate practice time to prepare for game situations.

He stated his belief that the team cannot succeed in the Pac-12 without the right preparation work, given the high level of competition that they’ll face.

“It can be dangerous in terms of putting them out there if they haven’t had the appropriate practice and prep time,” he said. “So every day is a struggle to figure out what your roster situation is.

“Are you going to be able to work out, are you going to be able to practice? And we’re still working through those things.”

Anderson and the Sun Devils have canceled three-consecutive games, against California, Colorado and Utah, because of COVID-19.

He’s confident the team is trending in the right direction though, with players and coaches resuming practices this week.

For now, Anderson’s focus is on making sure the football team is in the best position possible to succeed when their season restarts, which is a difficult task given the ever-changing nature of the virus.

“But there’s always information coming in that gives you confidence. Some of it takes your confidence away. That’s how fluid this thing is in regards to the testing feedback that you get on a daily basis with this COVID.”

Anderson said that managing a collegiate department in the midst of a pandemic is an arduous task, with test results pouring in by the hour and games hanging in the balance in multiple sports.

“It’s certainly hour by hour as the test results. And they all don’t come back in one batch, they come back when they’re ready to be reported,” he said.

“It’s certainly can be hour by hour and in an occasional situation minute by minute when you’re especially anxious, yes.”

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