Williams named to NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – East Central University Director of Athletics Dr. Jeff Williams added to his responsibilities as he was named to the new NCAA COVID-19 Medial Advisory Group. Dr. Williams joins the group after also becoming a member of the NCAA Division II Management Council for the 2020-21 season.

The NCAA new COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group brings together professionals from all three NCAA divisions and all five of the autonomy conferences in Division I.

“We are very pleased about Dr. Williams invitation to serve on the NCAA’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group,” ECU President Dr. Katricia Pierson stated. “His medical knowledge and work with athletic training will serve the advisory group well as they work through COVID-19 related issues affecting student-athletes. We know he will make us proud representing DII as he has done with his work on the NCAA DII Management Council.”

“Negotiating the challenges COVID-19 presents to NCAA athletics is a critical endeavor being undertaken by the NCAA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group,” said Williams. “I am honored to be asked to serve among this group of highly-regarded athletics medical professionals. I look forward to working with and learning from Dr. Brian Hainline and the group. Prior service on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) coupled with currently serving on NCAA DII Management Council positions me to represent NCAA Division II as we work toward solutions for keeping NCAA student-athletes and constituents safe.”

This group of infectious disease, public health and medical experts includes some members from the original advisory panel, plus representatives from organizations and medical groups that have been working collaboratively with the advisory panel and NCAA schools. The Medical Advisory Group will tap further into the expertise on university campuses across the country and ensure close communication.
The purpose of the Medical Advisory Group includes:

  • Reviewing emerging COVID-19 research and data to provide guidance to the NCAA membership regarding training, practice and competition, with a primary focus on testing paradigms and mitigating infection spread.
  • Specifically providing guidance regarding appropriate COVID-19 protocols applicable to training, practice and competition in winter and spring sports.
  • Providing guidance for conducting all sports competitions and championships, including on-site management of student-athletes and essential personnel, nonessential personnel and fans.
  • Providing guidance related to physiological, medical and mental health consequences of COVID-19.
  • Assessing other emerging information such as vaccines and new medical treatments for the purpose of providing guidance to NCAA member schools.

The COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group is not a policymaking body but rather will provide guidance to the entire NCAA membership. The Medical Advisory Group, for example, will not make decisions regarding competition dates, end-of-season issues or the number of contests/weeks in regular season. Rather, the group will provide guidance so that appropriate membership and governance committees can make informed decisions regarding these matters. The group will continue to provide protocols for health and safety in a manner consistent with Resocialization of Collegiate Sport documents. It is anticipated that the first report will be released in three to four weeks and specifically will address men’s and women’s basketball.

“The NCAA could not have made a better selection for this advisory group than Jeff,” commented Great American Conference Commissioner Will Prewitt. “His combined experience in athletic training, administration, and NCAA committee service make him a perfect advocate for the GAC and Division II in future association-wide Covid-19 decision-making processes.”

Dr. Williams is also serving on the NCAA Division II Management Council. The Management Council reports directly to the Presidents Council and is charged with recommending administrative policy and regulations that govern the division. The Management Council reviews and acts on recommendations from the Division II committee structure and from Division II representatives to committees with Association-wide functions. The Council also is responsible for appointing Division II representatives to those committees.

He has been part of the ECU community for 21 years, including serving as the Director of Athletics for the last eight years. Dr. Williams has also served as the head athletic trainer, chair of the kinesiology department and as a tenured associate professor.