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Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Kevin Barry Speaks Out About KU’s COVID-19 Response

By Lauren Gudknecht
Sports Editor

Kevin Barry, one of the strength and conditioning coordinators at KU, recently spoke out about KU’s COVID-19 response and how he is still managing to help student athletes train despite restrictions. 

“As of today (Sept. 9) I am in the process of writing off-season programs for 14 of our NCAA varsity teams,” Barry said.

Student-athletes facing an extended time with limited strength and conditioning
Credit: KU athletics

The programs will consist of between two to four sessions per week depending upon the sport and include a number of alternative workouts for student-athletes who will not be able to access gym equipment. 

Adding to that, athletes will receive multiple options for conditioning workouts as well. Barry stated his hopes for conducting a virtual Zoom workout with approval from the athletic administration.

Barry also gave his thoughts on the current situation KU is facing in regards to the decision to suspend fall sports. “I am incredibly disappointed for our student-athletes. I have seen first-hand the work our 400-plus athletes have been putting in since March 2020 and am saddened that they will not have the opportunity to compete on the field, court etc. for some time.” 

The decision to suspend fall competition from the PSAC and to delay all countable athletic activity hours at KU for the next four weeks was made in response to ensuring the safety for our student-athletes. However, beyond this response, Barry questioned the administration’s lack of planning leading up to the fall semester.

“I feel like our preparation and response to COVID-19 from athletics and university administration has been poor. I think many sport coaches would be in agreement with me by saying that our plan, or lack thereof, was always destined for failure,” Barry said. 

Barry has expressed to his student-athletes that it is “okay to not be okay,” as we are now in an extended period of great uncertainty. 

“Student-athletes should use our campus resources (counseling and psychological services) and look to their coaches for advice or even verbalize their thoughts with a trusted teammate,” Barry said.

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