Baruch sports cancelled (again): Winter sports latest victim of COVID-19

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Denis Gostev | Baruch Athletics

Kyle McKee

On Nov. 24, the City University of New York Athletic Conference and the Athletic Directors officially announced that all winter intercollegiate sports competition for the 2020-21 season will be canceled.

“The decision to cancel our Winter sports season took many, many hours of deliberation. The engagement with the CUNYAC Medical Advisory Group was insightful and while the decision is disappointing, our highest priority must be to the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, their families and the community. The loss of the opportunity to represent Baruch as a Bearcat is notably felt by all our student-athletes. The pandemic has shifted many a mindset and we have to stay strong and believe we will be back out there when the time is right,” Heather Mac Culloch, the Director of Baruch College Athletics and Recreation, said in a statement.

With the current situation regarding COVID-19 in the United States worsening daily, it was inevitable that the CUNYAC would make this tough decision.

Baruch basketball for both men and women, as well as Baruch’s swimming and diving teams are the winter sports teams that have been affected because of the cancellation.

“I mean it’s brutal not being able to play or see your friends and coaches. Usually, by now we would’ve been playing games and now we’re all just at home wondering what if,” said Jack Reese, a sophomore on the men’s basketball team. “I definitely feel for the seniors who have to make a decision to graduate and move on from Baruch or try to balance classes in a way to squeeze another basketball season out. It’s just brutal for everyone.”

In response to the cancellation of the winter sports, the NCAA approved a blanket waiver for Division III student-athletes to be granted an extra year of eligibility, without being charged for their lost seasons. With that being said, the NCAA has yet to cancel the winter sports championships for Division III.

Although it remains to be seen if spring sports such as baseball and softball would be canceled by CUNYAC, if the current trend concerning the coronavirus continues into the spring, those sports would likely be canceled by CUNYAC as well. According to the NYC Health, since the start of September, the number of COVID-19 cases on a seven-day average has increased from about 208 cases during the week of Sept. 6 to 1,507 cases during the week of Nov. 25. Additionally, the rate of New York City residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus reached 2.31% in early November, the highest percentage since June.

While it could be argued that as difficult as it was for everyone involved, the cancellation of winter sports was the most sensible decision to make. It showed that the health and safety of the student-athletes took precedence over sports.