NU Athletic Director Jim Phillips Takes It 'A Day At A Time'

Jim Phillips NU AD
Photo credit Jim Phillips, athletic director for Northwestern University /David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The sadness, optimism and uncertainty can all be heard in the voice of Jim Phillips.  

The Northwestern University athletic director is in a perilous situation, as are his counterparts. How do they approach the future when answers aren’t available?  

How do they try to navigate the crisis known as COVID-19? 

“Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the coronavirus,” Phillips tells WBBM Newsradio’s George Ofman. “We’re all just trying to take it a day at a time.”

Phillips was part of the 10-man selection committee that postponed NCAA tournament events. Subsequently, there was the cancellation of all spring sports. 

“To deliver that news was really hard,” Phillips said.

And Northwestern will be hit hard financially, with losses of $6 to $7 million, and that doesn’t include what might happen to the football season. 

“There will be a college football season only if and when the medical experts, CDC, state regional and national leaders declare it to be safe. And it won’t be made by a football coach, an athletic director or a university president.”

Perhaps even tougher for Phillips is this: The father of five has an18-year-old son, Luke, who runs track at Notre Dame and whose season was canceled.