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UWP’s Jeff Gard stays patient and awaits for Division III basketball season to start

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The NCAA's Division I Council announced that the 2020-21 season can begin November 25, that isn't the case for Division III basketball in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC).

Due to continuous COVID-19 concerns the WIAC announced last week that the Council of Chancellors voted
unanimously to suspend all winter sports competition through December 31, 2020. That includes Jeff Gard's mens basketball team at UW-Platteville.

"Our mindset as coaches and individuals that maybe aren't involved with playing the game, it's prepare for this thing to end versus waiting for it to end," Gard told WKOW sports reporter Alec Ausmus via Zoom.

"That mentality, I think there will be an end in sight. We have to be ready to put our best foot forward when it does end."

Jeff Gard

The goal for the basketball season in the WIAC is to play conference only games.

When Jeff is uncertain with how to handle some situations with his team, he will consult with his brother Greg. Greg is the head mens basketball coach for the Badgers. Coaching through a pandemic is a little different.

Greg Gard

"Fortunately for me I've always been able to rely on a guy down the road in Greg, and give him a call," said Jeff. "It's kind of the same boat, what are you doing? It's understanding that at the Division-1 level they have some of the same issues we have at Division-3."

Off the court Jeff wants his players to focus on what's going on in the world right now, and realize they are more than just athletes.

"We talk to our guys constantly about be an impact. How can we on the platform that we are on as a student athlete to be more of an impact more of a voice," said Jeff. "It's much more than just being a basketball player."

Alec Ausmus

Sports reporter

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