UCM’s spring semester has come to an end, and students are already looking forward to the fall 2020 semester. Many are wondering what is going to happen with the semester, and how COVID-19 will shake it up. Additionally, the sports fans among them are watching to see what will happen with the semester’s sports events.
So what’s in store for UCM sports?
Some colleges, like the ones in California, have already cancelled fall competition. The decision was made recently by The Great Northwest Athletic Conference to cancel all fall sports because of COVID-19. The GNAC has not addressed spring sports as yet.
As of today, the NCAA Division II schools are still planning on having regular sports seasons and championship games. UCM, as a Division II school, still has a sports season at this time.
Because the full impact of the virus is unknown even as summer begins, UCM has not fully addressed either its summer or fall athletic events. However, Sports Information Director Joe Hoffman said he does not believe there will be cancellations.
The current plan is to reduce the number of games during the fall and spring semesters. Football was reduced to 10 games, volleyball to 22 playing days, and basketball to 22 games.
Hoffman said they will be taking temperatures of the players to ensure they are not infected.
“I think there will be precautions such as temperature checks to see if players can play,” Hoffman said. “I don’t know about fans needing to wear masks.”
Some schools have discussed limiting the number of fans who can attend the event.
Jerry Hughes, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics, says “It is too early to know about letting fans into events. Other schools have different plans to deal with it but nobody is in a position to make that choice.”
“In my opinion, if games are deemed unsafe to play, I don’t envision those sports having organized team practices,” Hoffman said.
“The decisions about those items will be made in August,” Hughes says.
If sports are cut due to the pandemic, the scholarship money that players earned will be given back to UCM’s general fund. Hughes said that the scholarship and revenue are two separate items. They will know more about these issues at the end of June.
Tyron Taylor, Junior Defensive Back says that he would be upset if sports are cancelled in the fall because a lot of UCM’s sports teams are starting to heat up and it would be tragic for those seniors.
He said, “I couldn’t be too upset seeing its the safest option, but I’d still be pretty mad.”
If sports are cancelled in the fall, Taylor would lose his scholarship money and he would not be able to afford school.
Chris Port, head coach of the Jennies’ Golf Team, said that the team members were sad when the season was cancelled in the spring.
“The team took the cancellation in stride and focused on their work in the classroom,” he said.
Port said seven of the team members earned a 4.0 GPA, and the team as a whole earned a GPA of 3.86.
“For the upcoming fall season, we’re waiting on the NCAA and institution to put all the necessary precautions in place and then we will figure out how to go about practicing and competing,” Port said.
“The teams can practice but at any time the NCAA can make the decision to cancel those practices and games,” Hughes said.
The NCAA can make the decision of cancelling fall sports at any time, but for now players have been given at home workouts in order to stay fit and ready to go.
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