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: Thursday, June 25, 2020

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By Matt Noonan 

It’s Thursday, which means a brand new weekend is upon us – yay!

As usual, we hope EVERYONE is doing well while continuing to stay safe and healthy. And now, let’s dish out some news and links.


Noontime’s Headlines for Thursday, June 25, 2020

  • The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has some within the sports – and yes, news world – thinking the following question: is it worth the risk to play games while numbers continue to trend upward?Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press penned an interesting column that may make you think it might be wise to punt on sports for the rest of the year. But again, what do we know?
  • Similar to Tim Dalhberg’s piece about possibly saying goodbye to sports in 2020, the Boston Globe‘s Dan Shaughnessy expressed similar feelings in a recent column earlier this week.
  • Following this week’s news of Mystic Valley Regional Charter School canceling its upcoming football season, various high school teams the program was scheduled to play are starting to worry about a potential “domino effect.”
  • With baseball returning to Fenway Park next week – that is Spring Training 2.0, to be exact – Boston Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy hopes he and the organization can welcome fans to upcoming games either later this summer or in the fall.While it is uncertain if and when fans would be able to attend an upcoming Red Sox game, various outlets reported yesterday that one of Boston’s players tested positive for the coronavirus. The unnamed player is asymptomatic and is doing well it seems, according to various reports.
  • We learned yesterday that the University of Connecticut will cut four sports – men’s cross country, women’s rowing, men’s swimming, and diving and men’s tennis – at the end of the upcoming school year.The reason behind these cuts is due to an “overall budget reduction effort,” as reported by Sam Cooper of Yahoo! Sports.

     

  • And finally, student-athletes of teams (and programs) that are expected to be cut by Brown University, have accused the institution of “fraud for working secretly on a plan” that would eliminate their respective sport.

UMass’s Walt Bell Seems Optimistic For A College Football Season

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Walt Bell, who is entering his second season with the UMass football team, appears optimistic for a college football season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan 

As we continue to inch closer to July and August, the thought of college football seems to be on the minds of many these days, including the University of Massachusetts‘ Walt Bell.

Bell, who is entering his second season as the head coach of the Minutemen, seems optimistic for a season to occur this fall, despite so many questions swirling around the health and safety of both coaches and student-athletes.

“Every single day, you can start to see that snowball of positivity start to roll,” Bell said when speaking with Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle. “I know there will be football. I know in the majority of the country, there’s going to be football.”

Indeed, there will be football games played somewhere this fall, but will they occur in states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, which have been impacted by the coronavirus (Covid-19), remains an unknown? 

Bell did say that games will be played in Florida and Georgia, which certainly seems likely, especially after hearing Governor Ron DeSantis tell reporters last month that high school football fans “should absolutely assume” a season will happen later this year.

As of now, Bell and the Minutemen will keep their focus on staying connected through Zoom and FaceTime while thinking optimistically about the team’s season-opener against the University of Connecticut.

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

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone – how is everyone doing?

From a quick glance outside the window, it appears as if the sun is shining, which is something positive to report, right?

Yes, it will be a bit cold today, so if you do wander out of your home, condo or apartment (or wherever you’re hunkering down these days), please bundle up and wear an extra hat.

And now, let’s get to some news (and links) to start your day!


Noontime’s Headlines for Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 


Noontime’s Recent Links!


On this Date in History 

  • 1973: Bobby Orr becomes the first player in NHL history to record 100 points in four-straight seasons.
  • 1990: Joe Sakic becomes the youngest player in NHL history to record 100 points when he scored a goal in a 3-2 loss to the Hartford Whalers.
  • 1994: The Chicago White Sox assigned former NBA (and Chicago Bulls) superstar Michael Jordan to their Class AA affiliate the Birmingham Barons.
  • 1997: Arizona beat Kentucky, 84-79 (OT), in the 59th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to secure the program’s first national title.
  • 2002: The University of Connecticut women’s basketball captured the 21st NCAA Championship – the Huskies beat Oklahoma, 82-70, and finished their season 39-0.
  • 2002: Andre Agassi won his 700th career match by beating Roger Federer in the Nasdaq-100 Open in Florida.