Campus News

Pandemic: College Sports Slowly Coming Back?

William M. Akin IV

In early March, the sports world was heavily affected due to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) decided to cancel its remaining spring and winter sports for 2020, due to the uprising Covid-19 health risks. 

However, earlier this month, decisions were made by leaders of college basketball and football to jumpstart their season back in the upcoming months.

This pandemic affected many students nationwide, as there are about 460,000 participants in NCAA, according to the NCAA organization. About 23% of those total participants belong to football and basketball players alone.

About 5 months ago, the NCAA national body decided to cancel its tournaments and championships scheduled for the spring season, according to Dana O’Neil, a senior writer for The Athletic. In turn, this affected college wrestling, swimming, lacrosse, softball, football, and the NCAA tournament for men’s and women’s college basketball.

And in early August, CBS Sports senior writer Dennis Dodd and staff member Adam Silverstein said “The Big Ten… decided to cancel the college football season for the fall 2020 season… With this decision, the Big Ten has become the first Power Five conference to decide not to play this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The college basketball season, however, is projected to start back up in November, according to NCAA senior vice president Dan Gavitt. “…we need to see how the fall sports, football in particular, start, how the NBA finishes their season, and then Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball, NHL and we’re doing that.”

These past few months have been extremely tough and difficult for numerous players and coaches whose season was stripped away from them. It has also been tough on the organizations and sponsors funding these players and teams, as they are losing out on money as well.

TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati stated, “If there’s no football season, or if football season is interrupted or shortened, there will be a massive fallout.” He went on to say “There would have to be massive cutbacks. Could the department go on? Sure. It would probably look smaller. There would potentially be fewer sports and much less programming.”

DSU Football Team

Even as some professional leagues are in play and others open back up slowly, the NCAA is still taking the precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all their participants.

According to a university forum given last week by President of Delaware State University, Tony Allen, “The most important thing on {his} mind is the safety and academic continuity of our students.” Even this Division I school, as they are open this fall semester for classes, are focused and zoned in on the safety and well-being of their students and student-athletes.

With the right mindset and with carful steps, reopening facilities and allowing all collegiate players to participate in practices and games will be very possible in the near future.

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