The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) will not be playing football this fall. In fact, TCNJ will not be competing in any ‘high in-person contact‘ activities throughout the fall semester, according to President Kathryn A. Foster, who shared the news through the school’s website.
Friday’s announcement follows a few other schools, including Bowdoin College and UMass Boston, that announced earlier this week that they would not be playing sports this fall either. Additionally, Morehouse College, a member of NCAA D-II, canceled its upcoming cross country and football season earlier today while Pratt Institute (N.Y.) announced yesterday that none of their fall athletic programs would be competing for an American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) crown.
Foster expressed sympathy toward the school’s student-athletes that won’t have a chance to compete for the Lions this fall, including those that partake in intramural and club sports. But Foster did say that coaches and trainers can “arrange workouts and other individual fitness activities” while the Student Affairs staff will organize “low-contact recreational and cultural offerings.”
“I know how unfortunate and deeply disappointing this is for the many performers and athletes, coaches, and supporters who were looking forward to a fall season,” Foster said in today’s announcement. “I look forward to it, too. Yet the science on COVID-19 finds that activities with high in-person contact or proximity have the greatest likelihood of broad and rapid virus spread, a circumstance that at TCNJ could mean (a) shutdown of the campus.”
COVID-19 hasn’t been kind to the Garden State, which currently has recorded 172,000 confirmed cases and 14,872 deaths. But like most states in the northeast, including New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the numbers and data are trending in the right direction, which could mean sports could return to TCNJ this winter.
Said Foster, “If all goes well in fall, we may be able to allow some performance and winter sports preparation.”
Morehouse College announced on Friday, June 26 that they would be canceling their upcoming football season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Morehouse College Athletics)
Fall sports won’t be taking place this year at Morehouse College, according to the school’s president, David A. Thomas, Ph.D., who penned a letter to his student-athletes earlier today, which wasposted on the athletic department’s website.
Thomas expressed sympathy for both the school’s cross country and football programs, which won’t be competing this fall for a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championship, but did say the college “will honor all athletic scholarship awards.”
“I know this news will be most disappointing to our scholar-athletes, especially our seniors,” Thomas wrote in today’s letter. “I can only ask for your understanding and respect for the fact that the College is prioritizing your health and safety ahead of all else.”
A major reason why Thomas elected to cancel the upcoming fall sports season was due to concern that both teams wouldn’t be able to follow social distancing guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when competing against various opponents during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Thomas did state in his letter that he hopes to welcome students back to campus in August and that decisions on winter and spring sports will be made later this year.
Morehouse College, which competes against other NCAA D-II athletic programs, becomes the third school to cancel its upcoming fall sports season after Bowdoin College and UMass Boston made a similar announcement earlier this week.
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.
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.
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!
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Some college athletic folks seem more pessimistic than optimistic about having football games on campus this fall. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)
By Matt Noonan
It may be late June, but the thought of college sports taking place this fall, specifically in New England seems hard to fathom due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Sure, the numbers and data seem to be trending in the right direction in all six New England states, but before a slew of major announcements occurs next month, two schools have already announced plans to forgo the upcoming fall sports season.
Does this mean the Beacons of UMass Boston won’t be playing until this winter or next spring? Possibly, but as Newman said in today’s update about the fall semester, “If there were a way to make a different decision in a manner that we feel is responsible, we surely would. Sadly, the virus is spreading amongst athletes in states that have opened up. We don’t want that to happen to our Beacons. “
Indeed, the virus has impacted a slew of NCAA D-I schools and programs, including Clemson University and Louisiana State University (LSU). Additionally, it was reported lasted week that Kansas State had to press pause on its voluntary workouts for14 days due to some student-athletes testing positive.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus is here to stay – most likely, we won’t resume a sense of normalcy until a vaccine is developed, but it is expected that more news of positive tests and schools forgoing fall sports to keep their students – and yes, their student-athletes safe – will be announced in the coming days and weeks.
Rooting for schools to be open so students can return to campus is something we should all want, especially during such unprecedented times.
But unfortunately, this virus does not take vacations and will certainly continue to be with us when school bells begin to ring in late August and early September, which means it won’t be easy for football, soccer, field hockey, and volleyball games to be played this fall.
For Caty Flagg, this past season was all about enjoying the moment, while making memories of both home and away contests.
The Methuen, Massachusetts native, who played goalie for the UMass Boston women’s ice hockey team, says her goal was to not just “live in the moment,” but cherish time with her friends and teammates.
“I’ll always remember the fun times we had throughout this past season,” said Flagg, who started 25 of 26 games for the Beacons this past winter. “I’ll remember our team practices, lifts, and preseasons, but most importantly, our team dinners to hanging out (off the ice with everyone) while enjoying each other’s company.”
With Flagg between the pipes, the Beacons won 12 games while making an appearance in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) playoffs. UMass Boston won eight conference games while capturing seven of 12 road contests.
We recently spoke with Caty Flagg about competing for the UMass Boston women’s ice hockey team, as well as her plans beyond graduation this spring.
Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior or junior season with the Beacons? If so, which game(s) are they?
I have two memorable games. One from last season and one from this season.
Last year, we were the seventh-seed in the NECH playoffs and drew second-seed Suffolk University in the quarterfinals. We had tied and lost to Suffolk earlier in the season but for this particular game, we came in with some confidence that helped us beat them by one goal (2-1). The energy everyone exerted on this particular day was unbelievable and it was definitely one of the most exciting games I’ve ever played in.
Another memorable game was earlier this year against Colby. At the time, Colby was undefeated and ranked tenth in the country. We knew before the game that we were the underdogs, so we went in with the mindset that we had nothing to lose. And we won the game, too. It was unbelievable.
What have you enjoyed most about competing for the UMass Boston women’s ice hockey program these past two years? What will you miss most after graduation?
I would have to say, my teammates. Waking up every day and going to lifts or practices with them before a long day of classes, but everyone was always there for each other, both on and off the ice.
I am going to miss waking up every day and getting to play the game I love. It was always the best way to start off my day. I have been playing hockey since I was younger and it is going to be different not lacing up the skates each morning in the winter. I do look forward to staying in touch with my teammates, who have become great friends and will be back next year to cheer them on from the stands.
Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you plan to do with it after graduation?
I’m an exercise and health sciences major so I am thinking of becoming a personal trainer after graduation.
I became interested in this subject when I attended the University of New England as a freshman and sophomore. I was able to apply what I had learned at UNE when I arrived at UMass Boston as a junior last school year.
Due to COVID-19, my summer internship with a local gym has been shifted to online courses, but I have been able to create in-home workouts, along with a health and wellness program for someone in my family, which keeps me motivated.
This particular time has allowed me to identify what I truly want to do and that is personal training as well as some coaching.