by Josiah Thomas | News Editor
Responding to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with recent guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Schoolcraft College (SC) has canceled all games and practices — both on and off-campus — for the rest of the spring season.
This also applies to postseason and national championship games which includes the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Men’s Basketball National Championship tournament which Schoolcraft was scheduled to participate in.
According to Dr. Christopher Parker, President & CEO of the NJCAA, these measures were the only solution.
“As an association, the NJCAA exhausted all possible avenues to potentially postpone competition for both upcoming basketball championships and spring sports competition,” said Parker. “We believe following the recommendations of the CDC is in the best interest of our member colleges and our student-athletes.”
The director of SC’s athletics department is also reeling from the cancellations and postponements.
“As a previous student-athlete and now administrator, I am truly devastated for all of our student-athletes who were unable to complete their prospective season,” said athletic director Cali Crawford. “This devastation has not only impacted our student-athletes but our coaching staff and the Athletic Department as a whole.”
As for spring sports eligibility, student-athletes enrolled in 2020 won’t be charged for a full year of participation by the NJCAA. This includes athletes who participate in baseball, volleyball, golf, lacrosse, softball, tennis, outdoor track and field teams.
“[We] will explore the opportunity to expand allowable Letters of Intent for spring sports for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years under the recommendation of the NJCAA Eligibility Committee,” stated the NJCAA.
These measures were regarded as ‘difficult decisions,’ and they promise to provide updates as they become available and monitor the situation.
Though the outbreak has halted operations, preparations are being made for the 2020-21 athletic season.
“As of right now, we will continue to stay resilient and keep our student-athletes focused on our ultimate goal, which is finishing the semester strong and obtaining their associate degree. I am confident that our Ocelots will come back stronger and better for the 2020-21 academic year,” said Crawford.
All on and off-campus recruiting for SC sports teams is stopping until April 15. Further evaluation of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it affects campus sports are scheduled to take place on that date.