by Abigail Hintz
Sports around the world are coming to a standstill, and collegiate athletics are next in line.
The G-MAC announced this morning that spring athletics would be cancelled as a result of the global pandemic, COVID-19 (coronavirus). The official statement is below.
The announcement comes just two days after Cedarville announced they would be transitioning to online classes as a result of the virus.
Christopher Cross, assistant athletic director for compliance and operations, said that the decision to cancel sports for the remainder of the year includes out-of-season competition, such as scrimmages.
“What the G-MAC has done has canceled all athletic-related activities until April 6,” Cross said. “At that time, schools, if they’re back in session, can then make the decision on whether those teams can continue to practice – no more competitions – but each individual institution would be allowed to make the determination of what it means for their teams to practice.”
One of the biggest questions that remains after the announcement is the possibility that athletes will be able to redshirt this season. This decision will be made by the NCAA and has not yet been clarified.
Cross said, “What I suspect will happen is that each conference will make a waiver petition to the NCAA on behalf of all their members institutions that they allow student athletes to return for an extra year.”
Cross was quick to acknowledge that this does not come without challenges.
“If those student athletes are on scholarship now we have to provide scholarships for returning seniors as well as the incoming freshmen, which will be a financial burden for institutions,” he said. “So we need to figure that out.”
The implications this decision has for athletes themselves is significant, especially for seniors. Cross said the athletes are obviously devastated by the news but understand it is a matter of public health and that the issue is bigger than athletics.
“We all have a faith that’s very strong and these student athletes know this is an opportunity for them to react appropriately,” he said.
This isn’t the first effect COVID-19 has had on sports. Prior to the cancellation of face-to-face classes, Governor Mike DeWine recommended indoor sports be played with no spectators, leading the Cedarville women’s basketball team to play in the NCCAA Midwest Regional game in front of empty stands. On Thursday, the NCCAA tournament was canceled altogether, ending the Lady Jackets’ season earlier than they expected.
Abigail Hintz is a sophomore journalism major and Digital Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.