HOUSTON – The University of Houston head baseball coach Todd Whitting has had to get creative with in-person recruiting not currently allowed.
“We’re all literally sitting on Twitter all day, and other social media outlets, getting highlights, video clips and recommendations,” said Whitting. “We’ve had to move, shake and adjust with recruiting a little bit. But the loss of the camps right now is a big one for us.”
Whitting and his staff usually host camps throughout the year for both young kids and college prospects. August camps can’t happen due to COVID-19, throwing a wrench in both recruiting efforts and finances.
“That’s how we evaluate a lot of players in a confined environment,” he said. “Right now with the NCAA dead period, we can’t do any prospect camps. And with the university being shut down, no youth camps are allowed.”
Whitting also had to cut a staff member, since camps usually provide the money for the volunteer coaches.
“Our volunteer coach is no longer with us. He had to seek other employment because with no camp, obviously, we can’t pay him.”
One thing rings true at almost every university with a football team. The money brought in by the football program, as well as sometimes men’s basketball, controls a lot of the budget.
The University of Houston is no exception.
If football is played without fans, or the season is canceled, Whitting said the financial woes will impact the entire athletic department.
“You’ve seen the impact across the country already with schools cutting programs and cutting staff,” said Whitting, who believes the leadership at UH will do a good job handling, whatever happens, this fall.
“I think our university is as committed as anybody in the country in keeping all of our sports programs intact. We have unbelievable leadership,” said Whitting. “Football (canceled or played without fans) will be a big blow to us, but it’s going to be a big blow to everybody. So you’re on the same level playing field with this coronavirus situation. You’ve got to fight through it and get to the end of it somehow.”