The NCAA D-I Council voted to end the current moratorium for sports through May 31st. (PHOTO COURTESY: VisualHunt.com)
By Matt Noonan
Today was a good day for NCAA Division I basketball and football players.
The NCAA D-I Council voted to end the current moratorium this afternoon on all athletic activities through May 31 and allow student-athletes to return to their respective campus for summer workouts from June 1 to June 30.
Student-athletes that compete in other sports, such as soccer or field hockey, could learn as soon as next week if they would be allowed to return to campus to start their training for hopefully a fall season.
While it is not expected that every student-athlete will bolt back to campus to begin their respective training, it is likely that schools will welcome back athletes that may be living on campus or nearby. Perhaps more athletes will follow – in fact, Thamel reported that some colleges could see up to 25 or 30 student-athletes on campus next month, but of course, social distancing will be enforced in weight rooms and other facilities
Today’s ruling could be the sign of more good news to come as the 2020 college football season is currently slated to commence at the end of August.
These upcoming workouts won’t be the same as they have been in the past, according to Sports Illusrtrated, which reported in its story that student-athletes would normally spend eight hours a week training, including six hours with their school’s training staff.
Testing, testing, and more testing will be the key for not just any organization to be safe and successful during the ongoing pandemic, but also college football. And that seemed to be the message from Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby when speaking earlier today alongside other college athletic officials during a webinar that was hosted by LEAD1 Association.
When it comes to college football, Bowlsby believes players will need to be tested for COVID-19 “probably every two or three days.” But testing, according to the Big 12 commissioner, isn’t the only thing schools must do to protect their student-athletes. Colleges will need to rethink how student-athletes enter and depart their athletic facilities to coming up with a plan with possibly redoing their locker rooms to making sure shared spaces are sanitized. And of course, the list goes on.
“There are things that are arduous and will take time and will be absolutely essential to the ongoing mitigation of the risks,” said Bowlsby.
Bowlsby admitted colleges, including the schools in his conference, will face different challenges with keeping student-athletes safe compared to professional leagues, which can implement different measures for its athletes. But while Bowlsby, as well as his colleagues, know challenges loom ahead, he does believe this “voyage” everyone is on must lead to innovative thinking with answering the question of how to return students to safely to the playing field.
Said Bowlsby, “This is going to be continual voyage of discovery, and we’ll have to innovate going forward to meet the demands.”
The 13 member NCAA D-II conference, which has campuses in various California cities and towns, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, will not crown champions this fall in men and women’s soccer, men’s cross country, and women’s volleyball.
As noted in yesterday’s announcement, the CCAA member institutions felt it was best to protect the “health and welfare of our students, coaches, staff, faculty, and communities.” The CCAA does hope to provide its student-athletes with an opportunity to compete in the upcoming school year, but only when it is deemed safe for its student-athletes.
Is it time to officially pull the plug on all spring sports, including high school games? (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)
By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation
It may be time to pull the plug on spring sports, including all high school games, along with any other leagues or tournaments that were scheduled to start, both this month or over the next few weeks.
Sports will return – I know they will – but playing games to convening along the sidelines to cheer on our hometown student-athletes to storming the gates at Fenway Parkjust doesn’t seem like the right thing to do during this time of uncertainty.
We are expecting a “surge” here in Massachusetts, which could have started yesterday or today – who knows? – and it will certainly challenge all of us, as well as our communities, hospitals, health professionals, and everyone else that has bravely stepped up to help combat the spread of COVID-19. And this so-called “surge” – may be the first of many to come? – is certainly a sign that future games and contests will either be canceled or postponed.
Games, which were scheduled for today and yesterday, have already been canceled. Professional leagues like the NBA and NHL are staying optimistic about finishing their respective seasons while the MLB is pondering the thought of playing games in both Arizona and Florida next month.
Meanwhile, there is a slew of college athletes sitting idle – sadly, they will not return to the ice, hardwood, track, baseball or softball diamonds, volleyball courts or lacrosse fields later this spring. Their respective seasons are caputs.
And then there are the high school student-athletes, who are eagerly awaiting an announcement from their state’s Governor to say schools will re-open and spring sports will happen. But sadly, I don’t think high school spring sports will occur, along with any professional or minor league events for quite some time.
The thought of watching our friends and neighbors compete in crowded gymnasiums or local parks just doesn’t seem like a logical plan to me, especially during a time where many, including myself, are seeking some signs of hope, as well as a light at the end of the tunnel. I am an optimist – I always look at the glass half full, not half empty – but from everything I have read, heard or discussed with friends and colleagues within the sports world makes me think (and believe) that games will not be played either next month or in early June. And the thought of games being canceled or postponed weeks from now – i.e. fall sports like football, soccer, field hockey, and others – is also a possibility.
We need to be patient. We need to adhere to the advice of our local (and national) medical workers and scientists. We need to listen to our local Governors, mayors, and town representatives, who are working hard to keep us safe and provide some sense of normalcy to all of us in the coming weeks and months.
Spring sports will return to our lives one day, along with future dinner plans at our favorite neighborhood restaurants to movies, picnics and so much more. But for now, I think it is best to pull the plug and play it safe.
HEROSports.com has become a go-to website for all college sports fans, especially those who love D3 athletics.
On Thursday (yesterday, to be exact), Matt Noonan was joined by the company’s CEO, Jordan Nilsen, to discuss the company/website’s success thus far, as well as learn more about what HEROSports.com fans can expect in the coming months.