By Jenna Daunoras
Elm Staff Writer
After the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors’ order of the NCAA Resocialization Principles and the Division III Presidents Council conclusion to cancel fall championships, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council announced the decision to cancel intercollegiate competition for all fall and winter sports through Dec. 31.
The NCAA Resocialization Principles enforces proper hygiene habits, temperature checks, and isolation of all athletes and staff. It also required that colleges have easily accessible, rapid tests for athletes or staff that feel sick. All areas used by athletes would also have to be closed except to athletes and needed to be fully sanitized after every use.
Although these principles would help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it would not stop it entirely. The cancellation decision was made with the health and safety of the student-athletes, staff, and campus community in mind.
Many of the Washington College’s athletes are saddened that fall sports have been canceled this semester, but it is especially heart-breaking for fall sport athletes.
“I’m disappointed about the season being canceled but I understand why, although upsetting, the school made a decision in the best interest of its students,” said sophomore, Courtney Maxwell, from the WC volleyball team.
But a longer break could be beneficial to athletes that are recovering from injuries. It allows ample time to remain consistently in physical therapy to prepare their bodies to return to the court or field.
“To say the least, I am disappointed, but glad that we are playing it safe. I hope to come back as strong as my freshman year,” said junior women’s soccer player, Emily Jacoby. She suffered tearing her ACL, MCL, and meniscus during her sophomore season.
Yet, there will still be practice opportunities during the fall semester at the ruling of each institution according to the NCAA. The Centennial Conference Presidents council will continue to monitor local and national guidelines in regards to health and safety in order to make future decisions.
As for Washington College, student-athletes that are residing in Chestertown are able to use the weight room, field, and gymnasium while following current CDC guidelines. They will be allowed to practice together if they chose.
Although athletics have been canceled for this semester there has been talk about moving cancelled sports into the spring season. This would include fall sports as well as the potential of winter sports.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll have a season in the spring,” said Jamie Leventry, head coach of the women’s volleyball team. “This will allow our players to retain their eligibility as well as get some competitions in. We will begin practice as soon as possible to prepare for that spring volleyball season.”
The cancellation this semester will postpone the start of winter sports as they would usually begin practicing late October as fall sports are coming to an end.
“It is my hope that we are able to salvage a season in January that will include a few non-conference and conference play,” said head coach of the men’s basketball team, Aaron Goodman. “The most important criteria is being able to return to play safely.”