How its universities are responding
~Matthew Morhiser, Sports Editor~
Two weeks ago, the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) announced on their official website they will be suspending league play and competition at least till January 2021. All winter events scheduled through the end of this year are now on hold due to the well-documented concerns over COVID-19.
In their official update, the CAC specifically mentioned advisement from league athletic administrators as the principal reason for the suspension of play. The health and wellness of all student-athletes, coaches and faithful fans of the CAC’s eleven universities is paramount, so their decision, while not typically ideal, is pertinent for this historically unideal global pandemic.
The CAC has not concluded on a fixed date for the resumption of their winter championships, but they specified they will release another detailed statement when a final decision is made.
In the closing sentences of their update, the CAC announced they would support any of the eleven universities if they so choose to continue to play regionally in accordance with local, state and national COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. While none of the eleven schools have released a statement regarding the continuation of competition for winter sports, several schools have issued their own statements on the cancellation of play.
Pratt Institute, a private university located in Brooklyn, New York, announced they would follow the CAC’s plan of cancelling winter sporting events, and they would also cancel the men’s and women’s cross country 2020-21 season in its entirety. They, like the CAC, plan on resuming sporting competition after January 1st, if permitted and safe for all participating parties. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a public liberal arts college in St. Mary’s City, followed suit with the CAC and made the decision to postpone all winter sports until the turn of the new year.
Two directors from CAC universities have released their own statements on the matter, as well. Dr. Gerry DiBartolo, the Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation at Maryland’s Salisbury University, stated, “It wasn’t an easy decision to extend suspension of contests to the end of the calendar year, but we remain hopeful that we can resume competitions after January 1st and in the spring.” Deidra Dryden, the Director of Athletics at Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, stated on the support from the athletes and fans, “We are so appreciative of their positive attitudes and sacrifice to help keep our campus community healthy and safe. We will continue to prepare for future competitions and remember this is for now, not forever.”
So what does all that mean for CNU? CNU, in total, has four teams that annually compete in the winter for the CAC. Men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s track & field each call themselves members of Fredericksburg’s intercollegiate monolith. The men’s basketball team is coming off a season where they advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament before its cancellation, and they finished 17th in D3hoops.com’s final national poll.The women’s basketball team is coming off their best season since 2017 when they qualified for the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four. They finished 12th in the final Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WCBA) Coaches Poll. Both basketball teams posted twenty win seasons with single digit losses.
Both the Men’s and Women’s Track & Field squads are coming off seasons where they won both team titles at the CAC’s Indoor Championships. With big names like Allan Pedin, CJ Reeders and Alyssa Roach, who each won individual awards at the CAC track & field’s grandest event, returning for what would be the 2020-21 season, CNU was on a straight-shot for more decorative hardware.
According to cnusports.com, much like other CAC directors and the conference itself, no date has been set for when winter sports will resume or be made-up, but Kyle McMullin, CNU’s Director of Athletics, has set a similar goal of January 2021. Additionally, when CAC fall competition was officially cancelled on August 18th of this year, McMullin issued a statement saying, “When it becomes safe to compete again, I am certain our students will be ready to put on their uniforms and represent our university with the class and competitive fire we have all come to expect from this Community of Champions.”
For more information on the CAC cancellation of winter sports, visit: https://cacsports.com/landing/index
Quotes and information compiled from: