College sports across the nation have adjusted

By Megan Himm (TheLorian)

This fall season varied greatly from previous years, with many colleges canceling or postponing many sports. Across the National Collegiate Athletic Association, commonly referred to as the NCAA, there has not been a single solution. There are variances across divisions, conferences, and colleges within those conferences.

Some conferences have completely canceled their season, the most notable example of this being the Ivy League. This was the first Division I school to completely cancel their fall season. Their official website goes into more detail, and includes information about possibly moving some sports to the fall season. The website also included a statement issued by the Council of Presidents, “As a leadership group, we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students who attend our institutions, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our schools. These decisions are extremely difficult, particularly when they impact meaningful student-athlete experiences that so many value and cherish.”

Many conferences have decided to only play within their conference. Both the BIG-10 and the PAC-12 are doing this. The rules within each conference vary. The BIG-10 has stood out for its decision to require players that test positive for COVID-19 to sit out for 21 days. Their website goes into detail about the specific protocols that must be followed, including the requirement that “student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field for all practices and games undergo daily antigen testing.”

With the majority of the focus solely on football, its important to take a look at what other sports are doing. Many conferences that have decided to have a fall season are not allowing all sports to play. Some schools are making exceptions for sports that can be played while maintaining social distancing, such as golf, cross country, and tennis. Golf Week compiled a list of Division I conferences, and their plans allow for Men’s Golf this fall. Of the 31 conferences listed, only seven were having a fall season, while 17 were not allowing it at all, four conferences left it up to the individual colleges, and three conferences had not made a statement at the time the article was written.

Across the nation, athletes, coaches, and all who are associated with college sports are working hard to stay safe. They are taking part in special safety measures in order to keep their season, or work towards being able to play in an upcoming season. Regular testing, wearing masks, and social distancing are all measures being utilized. With each college taking slightly different measures, it can often get confusing. However, most colleges have designated a section of their website with their specific COVID-19 policies. Uncertainty about the future of COVID-19 means that colleges must be flexible and ready to change and adapt. Only time will tell what the future of college sports will look like.

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