By: Jesse Frazier
As the list of things 2020 has taken from us continues to grow, you can add watching out BSU winter athletes to that list. Last week it was announced by the MASCAC and along with the new Massachusetts state regulations, that it would be best that this 2020 winter season be cancelled. The only good news from this report is that our athletes will not lose a year of eligibility. After reviews from all the eight presidents on the MASCAC board, the team took into consideration all the risks and just had to make a decision that was best for everyone’s health. Sadly, with the rise in cases predicted for the winter and with no clear vaccine on the way this was no doubt the right call. Colleges across the country are not just faced with the decisions on sports but weather or not students who leave the campus for Thanksgiving should be allowed to return. This call by the MASCAC was easy as there is just so much to consider with the holidays and students already communicating from off campus to practices, it would be hard to quarantine a whole team in the middle of the winter for an entire winter season.
Thankfully for the athletes, they will still have access to the campus with certain team and conditioning workouts to keep up the progress they have made this offseason. Teams are able to practice a few days a week with continued personal workouts as well and all the coaches and other staff members can do is keep their players motivated and maybe even convince some seniors to stick around for another season. Non-conference schools can schedule scrimmages as the universities must consult one another first so that will be something to keep an eye out on as the winter months progress.
“The MASCAC presidents have been continuously observing the pandemic and guidelines from local, state, federal and NCAA officials which has led us to the decision to cancel winter sports competition during the spring semester,” said Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President James Birge, Chair of the MASCAC Council of Presidents.
Another heartbreaking note is that this is the MASCCs 50th anniversary and the celebration will go on. Throughout the season they will be doing trivia events and special features from past games the celebration will go on. It is a must for the conference to highlight the great student-athletes, coaches, and everyone involved that makes Division III sports great. To our athletes I apologize for your your broken hearts and what may be what you think as “lost training” but just know you can use this as motivation and come back even stronger as you can only control the things you can control. Stay strong and take the court, field, or ice even stronger next winter.