Andrea and Ian Grady hold their newborn son, Jinnix, in a family portrait.

Andrea Grady, the senior woman administrator and assistant athletic director of compliance at Slippery Rock University, has continued to monitor the changes of the NCAA and the future of athletics at The Rock amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Not much has changed within her position, as much of what she does is able to be easily accessed virtually, Grady said.

(AUDIO: Miller-Grady talks about her job and what has changed due to the pandemic)

In 2019, SRU installed a compliance monitor system to assist coaches in their communication with student athletes and administrators. This software purchase allows student athletes to complete forms and return them online as a preventative measure during the pandemic. It also ensures that recruits can maintain contact with coaches, have meetings via Zoom, and virtually tour campus. Some recruits have been lucky enough to visit campus, in small groups of six or less with masks and other precautions, to still gain the SRU experience prior to committing. All of this has kept Grady busy just like any other year.

Just over a month ago, Grady returned to work after being on maternity leave. In her free time away from work and her family, Grady has been staying active, checking in on sports statuses, and occasionally binge-watching Netflix. She is still hopeful for a spring semester with sports and continues to remain optimistic about the future of the 17 sports teams here at SRU.

(AUDIO: Miller-Grady talks about the current plan for athletics in the spring semester)

The monitoring of sports and NCAA rules and regulations are regularly being updated and checked on by Grady. The outlook for sports is always subject to change with COVID-19, however, Grady said, “we monitor everything as if sports are going to happen in the spring.” There is still a lot of talk within the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, and meetings are held with the conference office regularly as everyone is continuing to remain hopeful following the possible resurgence this upcoming winter.

With the possibility of sports in the spring, eligibility remains highly important. An extra year of eligibility has been added for all current student athletes, however, they must remain in good standing and pass at least 9 credit hours. The ultimate goal of all student athletes is not just to play their sport, but to ultimately get their degree, said Grady.

(AUDIO: Miller-Grady highlights the eligibility for spring and fall 2020 athletes)

As for Grady’s husband, Ian Grady, SRU men’s basketball coach, she says they are continuing with voluntary practices and keeping themselves eligible academically. If an individual does not feel comfortable with practicing, they will not be penalized, however, practice must go on if there is a possibility for playing time in the spring.

Also changing prior to the spring semester is the position of athletic director as Paul Lueken announced his retirement this coming winter. Grady said, “I’m not sure what the future holds, but I would absolutely love to be the director of athletics at Slippery Rock at some point in time.” The position has been filled temporarily by Joanne Leight, the chair of the physical and health education department and the SRU faculty athletic rep, who will serve as the interim athletic director next semester until the role is permanently filled.

Madison Williams is a sophomore Communications & Converged Journalism Major and has a minor in sports management. Madison is a first-year member of both The Rocket and WSRU-TV news as an anchor. After graduation, Madison plans to score a job in Sports Broadcasting.

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