CHESTNUT HILL, MA —Boston College’s Athletic Department has decided to shift its focus for the remainder of 2020. On September 15th, BC’s Jason Baum, Senior Associate Athletic Director, released a statement to the Gavel which read,
“BC Athletics has temporarily paused training for those winter and spring sports in which competition is not scheduled for the remainder of the calendar year,” said Baum. “This pause enables the Department to focus all efforts and resources on those sports which are competing--or will compete--in the weeks and months ahead in 2020.”
Recently, Boston College has experienced a spike of COVID-19 cases on campus. On the same day that news about winter and spring sports teams was released, BC reported 80 positive cases of COVID-19.
The Athletic Department’s decision to suspend team practices indefinitely is likely linked to the increased number of cases; especially since one recent breakout occurred on the swim and dive team. The infected athletes have already been isolated and are currently recovering.
The Athletic Department shared little information about the root cause of the cases. In a recent email sent to the entire student body, BC attributed partial credit for the rise to students failing to follow the COVID-19 health guidelines.
Luckily, zero BC students have been hospitalized for their coronavirus symptoms; all of them either having mild symptoms or being asymptomatic.
The list of sports teams who will and will not practice remains unclear. Currently, the teams scheduled to play in 2020 include women’s soccer, field hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and football.
Unfortunately, the teams whose fall training has been paused include the women’s lacrosse, rowing, fencing, men’s and women’s hockey, basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, and softball.
All eyes are set on the football team this Saturday for their away game against Duke University. Since the ACC and other conferences have successfully resumed play, the Big Ten has reconsidered their initial suspension of the season.
On September 16th, the Big Ten officially announced plans to begin play on October 24.
Currently, BC plans to maintain their COVID-19 testing and tracing formats and consider them to be going well. Despite the recent spike in cases, BC reaffirms there is no outbreak but they will adopt more aggressive surveillance testing in an effort to keep campus safe and the community healthy.
Given the Athletic Department’s choice to pause temporarily, a chance remains that winter and spring teams could resume training this semester.
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