NCAA President Mark Emmert Is Concerned About Fall Sports

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NCAA President Mark Emmert said no games will be played this fall without students back on campus. (PHOTO COURTESY: Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan

As we continue to inch closer toward a brand new college sports season, specifically college football, there seems to be some concern from NCAA President Mark Emmert regarding what various seasons will look like this fall during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

In a recent podcast appearance on The Comeback: COVID-19 and the Return of Sports from The Athletic, Emmert told host Seth Davis that the current situation is “very, very fluid,” and that whatever happens with fall sports will certainly be different than prior years.

“What we do know for sure is whatever occurs it’s going to be different,” said Emmert, who previously stated during an NCAA Social Series last month on Twitter that college athletics could not occur if students were not on campus.

As for what the upcoming football season looks like, including here in New England, Emmert told Davis that it won’t be what “we’re custom to seeing it year in and year out.”

Earlier this week, we learned Bowdoin College would not be playing football this fall – maybe this spring? – while Morehouse College announced today that its cross country nor football teams would not be competing for Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championships this fall. 

The Patriot League announced its plans for the upcoming fall sports season on Monday, which included guidelines for its seven members that play football. Teams will not be allowed to fly to away games while the league stated that “with rare exceptions, the regular-season competition will exclude overnight travel.” 

Holy Cross, which captured the Patriot League crown last fall with a 24-0 victory over Georgetown University, shouldn’t have to fly too many games this fall as eight of its current contests, including three conference matchups, are scheduled to take place in either Massachusetts or Connecticut. However, the Crusaders’ season-opener against Merrimack College on Thursday, September 3 could be canceled due to the league not allowing its members to compete against non-conference foes until Friday, September 4. 

As of today, we are 10 weeks away from the first official weekend of college football in New England as well as 69 days away from watching a slew of teams kick-off their respective campaigns on Thursday, September 3, including Bentley University, University of Connecticut and University of Massachusetts Amherst

Will games begin on time or be pushed back to later in September? Could we see games moved to October, November, or even December? What about pushing back the season until next spring? 

No matter what, Emmert knows the upcoming college sports season will look so much different than it has previously and may only feature conference or in-state contests along with a slew of regional games.

“Nobody can predict anything with certainty and so therefore you shouldn’t rule anything out,” said Emmert. 

“I certainly think that sitting here today that there will be football in the fall. I think it will be different in many respects whether it’s the audiences in attendance or not in attendance, whether it’s the nature of the schedule, whether it’s the length of the season – you know, all of those things will be different and certainly the protocol and the way the games are played and the healthcare that surrounding that has got to be different.” 

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It is going to be another WARM day here in Boston, as well as outside the city, so get that morning walk or run in soon. Otherwise, you will have to wait until this evening when it will be a bit cooler (or less humid!).

As you know, the ‘Daily Noontime’ has officially returned, which means its time to dish out some headlines for the day.


Noontime’s Headlines for Tuesday, June 23, 2020

  • On Monday, Bowdoin College announced they would not be playing fall sports nor would its winter teams be competing until next year.We wrote about this announcement yesterday – along with some other fall sports plans, too – but we did hear from a source in Maine that it is possible the school’s fall sports teams could compete during the spring semester.
  • Also on Monday, we learned that UMass Boston will continue to offer remote learning this fall, which means the Beacons’ fall sports teams will not be competing for Little East Conference (LEC) titles. It is possible students – and maybe student-athletes – could return to campus at some point this fall, but a lot will depend on the impact the virus is making, both in and outside the city.Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman shared an update about plans for the fall semester on the school’s website yesterday – she did mention e-sports could be a way to keep students engaged and connected while studying remotely. Could we see a Beacons e-sports team this fall?
  • The Patriot League unveiled its plans for the upcoming fall sports season last night, which will certainly impact the seven schools that play football. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Pate Forde, non-conference games seem unlikely.Holy Cross, which competes in Patriot League, is currently scheduled to compete against five non-conference teams this fall, including Boston College and Harvard University. Maybe those games could happen since they would take place in-state. Additionally, the Crusaders are scheduled to commence their 2020 campaign in North Andover against Merrimack College.
  • Steve Politi of NJ.com has a great story about the upcoming Rutgers University football season – he asks the question why do we need to bring back student-athletes in the midst of an ongoing pandemic? Is it really worth the risk?
  • Middlebury College plans to welcome its students back for the fall semester, which will not include an October break. Students would depart campus around Thanksgiving and finish the semester remotely, as well as take their finals from their homes, as well.What does that mean for the upcoming Middlebury fall sports season? As of now, games remain scheduled, but the school said in last night’s announcement about the fall semester to “more details” will be unveiled in the coming weeks, so stay tuned Panthers fans!


Thanks for stopping by and starting your day with the Daily Noontime! Make sure to stay connected with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone! 

What Would Be The Best New England FCS, D-II & D-III Football Matchups?

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What if WPI (left) and Springfield College (right) played against some local FCS and D-II football teams?

By Matt Noonan 

Trying to decipher if and when a college football season will occur this fall remains a mystery to many these days, including yours truly. But what if the upcoming season featured more regional games, specifically contests that saw the various New England FCS teams competing against D-II and D-III squads?

How about D-II and D-III teams squaring-off either under the lights or during a gorgeous October afternoon?

Could it happen? Maybe – I am not entirely sure, but it is an interesting thought, right?

While we may not know if and when a college football season will occur (or officially begin), here are a few ideas for some potential matchups that would be worth watching (or following).

American International College, Springfield College, and Western New England: How about AIC, Springfield, and WNE competing against each other to determine the best football team in Springfield, Massachusetts? Springfield and WNE have met in week one these past few years with the Pynchon SAW trophy on the line – the hardware is named after the city’s founder William Pynchon – so why not add AIC to the mix?

Holy Cross vs. New Haven: The Chargers (New Haven) are currently slated to compete against Dartmouth College in September, so why not play against the Crusaders, who advanced to their first postseason since 2009 last fall? This could be a really interesting game against two teams that finished in the top half of their respective conference last season.

Assumption College vs. WPI: I floated this potential matchup earlier this week in my ‘Noontime Commentary‘ piece about the upcoming fall sports season. I think this could be an interesting game, but I am not sure who would win. These two teams are literally down the road from each other, so we could call this game the ‘Battle of Salisbury Street.’ Thoughts?

Bentley University vs. New Hampshire: After finishing its 2019 campaign with a 6-4 record, I think these Falcons (Bentley) are ready to take on the Wildcats of New Hampshire. Whether this game is played in Waltham, Massachusetts, or Durham, New Hampshire, there would be an interest in this contest with both programs attracting a slew of student-athletes from the six New England states to their respective campus every year.

Harvard University, MIT, and Tufts University: Welcome to the ‘Battle of Cambridge and Somerville!’ Yes, I know there is already the ‘Battle for the Picket Fence’ between Cambridge Rindge & Latin and Somerville High School, so why not have Harvard, MIT, and Tufts compete for bragging rights for both cities? It could be some interesting games for sure, but in the end, Harvard would prevail. Go Crimson!

New England Football: Undrafted Free Agent Signings

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A slew of New England college football players signed unrestricted free agent contracts with various NFL teams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.

Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.

Boston College

  • Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Brown University

Dartmouth College

Harvard University

Holy Cross 

  • Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.

University of Maine

University of New Hampshire

  • Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.

University of Rhode Island 

  • Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
  • Aaron Parker (WR): Parker inked his name on a contract with the Dallas Cowboys after his cousin, Isaiah Coulter, was selected yesterday by the Houston Texans with the 171st pick.

Yale University

  • Dieter Eiselen (OL): The Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) alum, who is from Stellenbosch, South Africa, signed with the Chicago Bears shortly after the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Three New England College Basketball Players Drafted In The 2020 WNBA Draft

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Lauren Manis, who competed for the Holy Cross women’s basketball team the past four seasons, was drafted in the third round of the 2020 WNBA Draft by the Las Vegas Aces. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger)

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

A trio of New England college basketball players heard their names called last night during the 2020 WNBA Draft, including Holy Cross‘s Lauren Manis, who was selected in the third round by the Las Vegas Aces.

Manis, who was a two-time Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) Player of the Year, led the Crusaders to a 19-11 overall record this winter, along with a spot in the Patriot League semifinals for the second-straight season. She recorded a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds in her team’s final contest against Lafayette and concluded her impressive four-year career with 2,020 points and 1,188 rebounds.

A native of Franklin, Massachusetts, and alum of Bishop Feehan, Manis broke the school and conference record in rebounds while becoming the first Holy Cross basketball player in school history, including men’s basketball, to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

“It’s a dream come true,” Manis said, via Paloma Villicana of Fox 5 Lase Vegas when asked about being drafted by the Aces.

Manis, who averaged 18.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game this past season, is currently third in program history in career points and second with 58 career double-doubles. She is also the first student-athlete in Holy Cross women’s basketball program history to be drafted by a WNBA team.

In addition to Manis, a pair of University of Connecticut women’s basketball players were drafted last night, including Megan Walker, who was taken ninth overall by the New York Liberty. Walker, who led the Huskies with 19.7 points, will join former UConn teammates, Kia Nurse and Kiah Stokes.

Crystal Dangerfield, who averaged 14.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 30 contests, was selected 16th overall in the second round by the Minnesota Lynx. Dangerfield will team up with her former teammate, Napheesa Collier, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Year last September.

Walker and Dangerfield become the 39th and 40th WNBA draft picks in UConn program history.

University of Oregon’Sabrina Ionescu was selected first overall by the New York Liberty. Ionescu’s teammate Satou Sabally was selected second by the Dallas Wings while Baylor University‘s Lauren Cox was selected third by the Indiana Fever.

To see who else was selected in the 2020 WNBA Draft – HOP HERE