It’s Time To Pull The Plug On College Football, Fall Sports

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Is it time to pull the plug on college football, as well as all fall sports? (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s time to pull the plug on the upcoming college football season. It is also time to call off any and all fall sports, including field hockey, soccer, and volleyball contests.

Canceling sporting events is no easy task. These are hard decisions, but we have to respect the conferences and schools that have already elected to forgo the upcoming fall sports season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic so they can keep not just their student-athletes safe and healthy, but also their coaches, fans, and team representatives.

Playing football or any sport during a pandemic just doesn’t seem feasible at a time when various states across the country are experiencing an uptick in cases.

Sure, some may think conferences like the Ivy League or New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) should have waited an extra week or two, but remember, they were the ones leading the way back in March when everyone was ordered to shelter in place.

Today’s news of the Patriot League means more announcements are coming. And again, we need to be respectful to any and all decisions that are made.

This past weekend, perhaps the true voice of college football – that would be Greg Sankey, who is the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) – acknowledged in an interview with Marty & McGee on ESPN Radio that “we are running out of time to correct and get things right.”

If Sankey is concerned about the upcoming college football season, then you should be, too. And if there is no SEC football this fall, then expect no other league to play, as well.

More decisions are coming. And again, we need to be respectful to whatever these colleges and conferences decide to do. But with so much uncertainty heading into the upcoming school year, it just seems unlikely that any of us will see a college sporting event take place either here in Massachusetts or around the country until next January. And that is fine with me. 

The Patriot League Cancels Fall Sport

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Patriot League (PHOTO COURTESY: BU.edu)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The list of conferences and schools deciding to forgo the upcoming fall sports season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic added a few more names to the list with this morning’s announcement from the Patriot League.

According to this morning’s release, the Patriot League’s Council of Presidents has decided its best for its member to not “engage” in any competition this fall, which includes both championship and non-championship contests. A decision on winter and spring sports will be made later this year.

The league will permit its members to hold workouts – conditioning and strength training – and practices, but they must adhere to the health and safety requirements for each sport.

Today’s announcement does, however, exclude two of the league’s members – the United States Military Academy and United States Naval Academy – which will be allowed to make its own decisions on their respective sports seasons.

The Patriot League – like most conferences – will explore options to provide its student-athletes that won’t be competing this fall with some opportunities to possibly play in the spring. And that means we could see a small, but limited football season.

Last year, the Holy Cross football team claimed its seventh league crown, as well as the program’s first Patriot League championship since 2009 when they defeated Georgetown University in its season finale.

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! 

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