The University of Connecticut canceled its soccer season on Wednesday, changing into the primary member of the Football Bowl Subdivision to desert its schedule in full as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic.
Connecticut’s season was already in flux as a result of of the selections of main conferences, together with the Big Ten and Southeastern, to play solely inside their leagues. By the time Connecticut, which isn’t a member of any convention for soccer, introduced its determination on Wednesday morning, a 3rd of its deliberate video games had been canceled.
But in an announcement, David Benedict, the athletic director at Connecticut, cited the pandemic’s perils, not scheduling problems, as the explanation to drop plans for the season.
“The safety challenges created by Covid-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk,” he mentioned. “The necessary measures needed to mitigate risk of football student-athletes contracting the coronavirus are not conducive to delivering an optimal experience for our team.”
In an announcement launched by the college, soccer gamers mentioned they supported the choice, partially as a result of “not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting” the virus.
“We love this game and love competing,” the gamers mentioned within the joint assertion. “We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”
The determination from Connecticut, the place the soccer workforce misplaced greater than $13 million final 12 months, got here because the National Collegiate Athletic Association ready to supply extra particulars on Wednesday about its plans for championships in 22 fall sports activities. (The College Football Playoff, the competitors that’s the most profitable and distinguished of occasions involving fall sports activities, is not going to be affected by the choice.)
The Coronavirus Outbreak
Sports and the Virus
Updated Aug. 5, 2020
Here’s what’s occurring because the world of sports activities slowly comes again to life:
- Rafael Nadal mentioned he would not defend his U.S. Open tennis title because he preferred not to travel to New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Marc Stein has covered the N.B.A. for nearly 30 years, but inside the league’s “bubble” he has seen all-new sights and sounds daily. Here are some snapshots.
- As the virus spreads through baseball, so does frustration. Series have been postponed, teams have been quarantined and road trips have been rerouted in a season that has been defined above all by its precariousness.
The wave of news on Wednesday — the Big Ten announced that it intends to begin its football season on Labor Day weekend — comes at a moment when playing college football is increasingly problematic as the landscape within the sport mirrors what is happening nationally, with hot spots emerging and few signs that the pandemic is under control. Six Big Ten schools have halted workouts, including Rutgers, where an outbreak has now infected 28 players and three staff members, according to NJ.com.
Cases like this are what prompted a group of Pac-12 players — at least one from every school in the league except the University of Colorado — to threaten Sunday to opt out of the season unless more health and safety measures were put in place, along with other demands. The group will meet this week with conference leaders.
Many schools without so much revenue at stake — football is responsible for tens of millions of dollars in income at many universities — have already postponed their football season.
Last month, the Ivy League postponed football, and all other sports played that begin in the fall semester, until at least January. So, too, did most historically Black colleges and universities. Several other Division I conferences that do not play football, including the Big West, the Western Athletic Conference, Atlantic-10 and America East, also announced they were postponing fall sports.
Conferences have been busy in recent weeks reconfiguring schedules and practice plans to provide flexibility for outbreaks that many executives concede seem inevitable once athletes begin to suit up.
All five major conferences, including the Southeastern, Pac-12, Big 12, Atlantic Coast and Big Ten, have reduced their schedules to 10 games.