By Anthony Covino
With the NEC deciding to postpone and likely cancel fall sports this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the future of FDU winter and spring sports hangs in the balance. The NEC presidents are scheduled to reconvene by Oct. 1 to discuss how they will move forward with sports for the rest of the year and into the spring as well.
Both men’s and women’s soccer are among the sports that were affected this year. Both soccer teams are coming off successful seasons.
The men won the NEC championship and made it to the NCAA Tournament while the women’s team finished one win away from the NCAA Tournament, falling 1-0 in the NEC championship to Central Connecticut State.
FDU will not get to see these two teams hit the pitch this year.
Women’s volleyball has also been cancelled for the season. The team came out of a rough season last year, and has a new coach in Kevin Rodgers who replaced Andrea Nolan-Boyd last spring.
Track and field also will be returning soon for their fall season with — protocols in place.
“I am very excited to get back to work with my team,” said Roman Mioduszewski, a senior javelin thrower, via text to The Equinox. “We were heading in the right direction and getting ready to compete in the spring but we had a setback. We have a lot of unfinished business to take care of. I’m just excited to get back to work.”
By Oct. 1, the NEC presidents are slated to decide on the basketball season, which is scheduled to begin in November.
Last year, the March Madness Men’s and Women’s NCAA tourneys were cancelled due to the pandemic. So, there is pressure to avoid another lost season (and revenues) for both teams.
Athletes are scheduled to come back to campus to train and practice for their upcoming season with the quarantines and protocols in place.
Senior forward Elyjah Williams is one of the basketball players coming back to campus.
“I’m excited,” Williams said via text. “I’m really hoping that we do have (a season) and that we’ll be able to play even if there are some restrictions. I just want to play a full season and be with my teammates again,”
The FDU Women had their best season abruptly stopped last due to the pandemic as they were on their way to the NEC semifinals.
The NCAA will decide how to handle the upcoming sports and the specific protocols to follow. The NCAA could decide to have a “bubble,” like the NBA has right now.
The “bubble” is essentially a controlled environment where players will only play in a certain location. For example, the NBA is finishing the season off in Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where the players cannot leave that vicinity unless it’s for personal reasons. It is an isolated environment where players are tested every day for COVID-19 and play together every day.
A CBS Sports article details the protocols for testing and how it will work in the bubble. The league and the NBPA have developed a series of stringent protocols for testing and safety practices. Anyone who has entered the NBA bubble at Disney World underwent testing beginning June 23-30 in their home markets.
Anyone entering the Orlando bubble is required to quarantine for up to 48 hours until they register two negative COVID-19 tests. Any player who leaves the bubble environment is required to undergo a quarantine of up to 10 days upon their return to Disney, and will need to register two negative tests as well as an antibody test before returning to play.
The bubble may be an suitable option to have a college basketball season this year and then by March, the possibility of having fans for the NCAA Tournament can be talked about depending on where the country is by that time — one year after the pandemic lock-down brought a stop to collegiate sports competition.
Art by Anthony Covino.