Author Topic: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics  (Read 1372 times)

Offline PlaySimple

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Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« on: May 20, 2020, 04:13:15 pm »
Ithaca College has stated that the fall calendar will start on October 5.

The plans for athletics seems to be a bit in limbo. From the Ithaca College website:

"I also know many of you will have questions about our athletics programs this fall. Please be assured that our athletics department staff, sports medicine staff, and the director of medicine for IC are working collaboratively to determine a plan and process to re-engage in intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports, and that IC will continue to follow NCAA, NATA, and Liberty League guidelines."

https://www.ithaca.edu/news/college-plans-fall-opening

While D3 athletes are obviously not affected by athletic aid, there will be some interesting implications for spring athletes that missed this past season and, as we get further along in the summer and if it is deemed necessary to cancel the fall sports, the fall athletes that will be affected. If there are some schools that cancel fall seasons while other do not, will this spur transfers? I believe that is going to be a lot more common occurence for the D1, D2, and NAIA athletes, though, as they can receive athletic aid.

I posted some of below on another forum and while it mostly pertains to D1 athletes, there might be some D3 athletes that are also affected. It repeats some of what I already mentioned.

Athletes at all schools and in all divisions that had their seasons canceled this past spring should have another season of eligibility. Some of those athletes are seniors that graduated and may be starting graduate school at another institution. If the graduate program that those athletes are pursing will give them the time to also participate in athletics, I would assume that some would do so. I see that same scenario playing out this upcoming year if athletes get their fall seasons canceled. There will also be a lot of spring sport athletes that will be graduating in the coming years that are going to have another season of eligibility when they graduate.

There have also been a lot of schools that have announced that programs are being cut. Women's soccer has been largely spared but there are men's soccer programs that have been cut, baseball, track and field, cross country, etc. Many of the athletes at those schools, particularly if they're freshmen and sophomores, will be looking at transferring. I'm not sure if the coaches of various sports will be licking their chops with the possible influx of unexpected athletes or if they'll be overwhelmed and confused. This is also going to be confusing for the athletes themselves in deciding what they should do. I see recruiting becoming very different in the coming years with a lot of new dynamics to consider.

Lastly, I can see more and more schools decide that athletics is just not that important and there will be the elimination of sports at many schools. I happen to believe that athletics is an important part of the collegiate experience for many students and it also affords many athletes the opportunity of an education at an institution that they might not have otherwise if they were not an athlete. Look at the many student athletes that are attending some of the Ivies and other Tier 1 schools in all divisions. Athletics opened the door of those schools for many athletes.

There are effects of Covid being felt throughout the collegiate athletic landscape. Many schools, primarily D1 institutions, have cut some sports. The California Collegiate Athletic Association, a D2 conference, has suspended all fall sports. Note that the word suspension is being used. This, to me, implies a delayed beginning to the season is being planned. Everything is dynamic, though, and I expect to see a lot more changes as we get later into the summer months and closer to the fall.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 04:15:23 pm by PlaySimple »

Offline Stryker

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 01:17:23 pm »
I didn't reply on that other blog since it's focus is more related to D-1 and D-2 schools.  No doubt that Covid has placed all programs into uncertainty, especially with schools opening on different dates (like Ithaca) or possibly staying online for the fall. I will take the NCAA President at his word when he says that they will not jeopardize athletes by letting them to return to campus to compete when the campus is not open to other students for academics. So I do think that there is still a risk that there will be no fall season. Plus, if they play, I wonder what the NCAA policy will be when some regions are willing to play since they have low infection and death rates while other regions are still suffering from high rates of infection. If only some of the conferences re-open and play, how does that impact the NCAA tournament? Sure they would hold it but how competitive will it really be.

However, to get back to your comment, unlike D-1 or D-2, I do not think that it will generate many, if any, transfers at the D-3 level. D-3 by its nature is more focused on academics. While seniors may fear the loss of their final season, there is little incentive to jeopardize completion of their degree programs by transferring just to play a final year of soccer.  I know my daughter (who is hard core when it comes to soccer) would be heartbroken to lose her final season but would never consider changing schools. Fortunately for her, she is in a five year engineering program so she has some flexibility if she loses this season.

The Covid impact on the D-3 school's schedule will be less dramatic than D-1 teams since most D-3 tends to play regionally and require less travel.  Yes, if they proceed with the fall season, some schools may need to change their schedules to either cancel games for schools that elect not to play sports this fall and/or to add replacement games with other schools in their region. But that is doable. 

The real issue for the future if they cancel is the balancing of returning players who do have the flexibility to play an additional year vs a newly recruited freshman class. Certainly freshman would have to consider how their playing time would be affected when considering the school that they will commit to. (yes, not every freshman gets much playing time so it will really only affect the top players). But fortunately, D-3 doesn't have the added problem of dividing athletic scholarship money among the added players.

Playing in the Covid era will be interesting, to say the least.

Offline PlaySimple

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 02:43:00 pm »

However, to get back to your comment, unlike D-1 or D-2, I do not think that it will generate many, if any, transfers at the D-3 level. D-3 by its nature is more focused on academics. While seniors may fear the loss of their final season, there is little incentive to jeopardize completion of their degree programs by transferring just to play a final year of soccer.

I certainly agree with ^. Most D3 athletes that I know certainly love their schools and the school itself and the strength of the academic programs had more of a factor in school selection than athletics did. That said, I think that it is feasible that if an athlete graduates with a year of eligibility remaining and attend graduate school at another institution, or at their current institution provided that it has graduate programs, they could play another year of a sport. There are some graduate programs that are too demanding and would not allow an athlete do do this but it is conceivable. Additionally, while it doesn't happen often, I've known athletes that graduated from a D3 school with athletic eligibility remaining and attended graduate school at a D1 school and played at the D1 school. It is rare but it has happened.

Offline Stryker

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 03:17:11 pm »
Your point is well taken.  It definitely seems that some athletes will graduate with eligibility.

I got some perspective last night from my daughter when she raised the possibility of red-shirting this upcoming season, since she is in a 5 year program. Apparently her coach walked the team through several possible scenarios and sought feedback from the players on how they would respond. The possibility of a limited game schedule of 8-10 games, no league playoffs and maybe even no NCAA tournament seemed to cause a large number of players to question whether they would play this season under those circumstances. Enough players that, if they followed through, the school would have difficulty fielding a team. Which would add to the number of athletes graduating with eligibility.

My daughter is determined to get her team back to the NCAA's and to pursue a National Championship. So the thought of using a year of eligibility for a shortened season with a possibly reduced roster with no NCAA tournament has her considering the option of red-shirting. Of course, she won't have to make that decision until the school's plans for return to campus and the athletic season become more certain. I just was caught off guard that she was even contemplating that option.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Offline PlaySimple

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2020, 01:54:25 pm »
I realize that things are still "loosey goosey" and that those in charge are waiting to see what trends or spikes are going to occur with covid but I would be interested to know what a national league like the UAA has planned. Being so geographically spread out, travel will be difficult given what I assume will be more restrictive travel guidelines this upcoming year. Regional leagues such as the CCIW, NCAC, OAC, WIAC, etc, should not have issues.

Offline Stryker

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 11:05:25 am »
Things are definitely still undecided but my daughter team was given an idea of where the wind is blowing for the upcoming season. The teams in the conference will be given 6 weeks pre-season (from 8/10-9/20), with graduated steps from individual to small group to full team workouts. Teams projected to play all conference games and up to 3 non-conference games. No games requiring hotel stays. The conference will then play an adjusted playoff format (no byes, just quarter-finals, semi's and finals; games played at higher seed location). Semi's and finals not played on back to back days like before. Then NCAA tournament.  No information yet on school's plans for testing or how they will deal with players testing positive. Of course, no final decisions made and a lot dependent on the status of Covid once we get near August. However, it is more than what my daughter thought the projected season would be.

Offline PlaySimple

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 02:05:04 pm »
I first read about this from someone posting on bigsoccer.com

Due to coronavirus outbreak, Bowdoin College cancels all sports for the rest of 2020

https://www.masslive.com/sports/2020/06/due-to-coronavirus-outbreak-bowdoin-college-cancels-all-sports-for-the-rest-of-2020.html

This is a pretty significant development.

The NESCAC, in which Bowdoin is a member of, along with the UAA, are arguably the top D3 conferences for women's soccer. Bowdoin is not quite at the same level as Williams, Middlebury, Amherst, or even Tufts, but they're a respectable side. It will be interesting to see what the other members of the conference decide to do.

Of all of the D3 conferences that I am anticipating the most to see what unfolds, it would be the UAA. The UAA is pretty close to being a national conference with members NYU and Brandeis on the East Coast, south to Emory, and to the Midwest with Wash U and Chicago. In the middle of all of that you've got CWRU, Carnegie Mellon, and Rochester. The UAA schools all have endowments in the billions of dollars and are well-equipped to handle some long term adversity. The D3 conferences without good resources and/or academic reputations may have a more difficult time coming back from all of this.

I have heard various unconfirmed rumors that since the UAA is such a geographically dispersed conference, that travel is going to be minimized. One idea being floated to minimize travel will be that the schools may become temporary members of conferences within the individual schools' regions for the short-term. From what I have heard this is only one of many options that are being considered.

I don't anticipate that decisions will be made by the end of this month but I would look for some more concrete details, from all schools and all conferences, to be known by the middle of July at the latest.

Offline PlaySimple

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 08:59:54 am »
I've heard that TCNJ has canceled fall sports. I did not see a statement on the school's athletic web site to confirm this.

TCNJ is usually a strong side so this is pretty significant.

Offline hickory_cornhusker

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2020, 06:49:06 pm »
I've heard that TCNJ has canceled fall sports. I did not see a statement on the school's athletic web site to confirm this.

TCNJ is usually a strong side so this is pretty significant.

Almost: https://tcnjathletics.com/news/2020/6/27/general-tcnj-athletics-fall-semester-statement.aspx
Looks like volleyball, cross country, and swimming can continue. The rest are cancelled for the fall semester.

Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 08:11:31 am »
I've heard that TCNJ has canceled fall sports. I did not see a statement on the school's athletic web site to confirm this.

TCNJ is usually a strong side so this is pretty significant.

Almost: https://tcnjathletics.com/news/2020/6/27/general-tcnj-athletics-fall-semester-statement.aspx
Looks like volleyball, cross country, and swimming can continue. The rest are cancelled for the fall semester.

TCNJ doesn't offer volleyball as a varsity sport.  It would have been a striking exception to allow it to continue with the other sports they have cancelled.

Offline hickory_cornhusker

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Re: Covid Impacts on Fall 2020 athletics
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 04:05:01 pm »
I've heard that TCNJ has canceled fall sports. I did not see a statement on the school's athletic web site to confirm this.

TCNJ is usually a strong side so this is pretty significant.

Almost: https://tcnjathletics.com/news/2020/6/27/general-tcnj-athletics-fall-semester-statement.aspx
Looks like volleyball, cross country, and swimming can continue. The rest are cancelled for the fall semester.

TCNJ doesn't offer volleyball as a varsity sport.  It would have been a striking exception to allow it to continue with the other sports they have cancelled.

You’re right. I just looked at the list of sports they offer and just assumed volleyball would be on there since every athletic program of a similar size has volleyball.