Coronavirus Restrictions Start To Reach College Baseball

Coronavirus Restrictions Start To Reach College Baseball

  • Coronavirus Restrictions Start To Reach College Baseball
    D1 Baseball Staff - March 11, 2020

    After nearly 100 universities either moved to remote instruction or suspended classes altogether, the efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will inevitably reach college baseball.
    The effects are minor for the moment, but could become more significant in the coming days. As the United States ramps up its response to COVID-19, colleges and universities are on the front lines as places where thousands of people live in close proximity to one another. “The dorms are cruise ships,” one Harvard official told MSNBC as the school decided to ask students to move out by this weekend.
    Harvard has not altered its baseball schedule yet due to coronavirus, but the Ivy League implemented “highly restrictive, in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletics events,” according to a release from the league. The Ivy League also called off its conference basketball tournaments, and canceled all out-of-season practices and competitions. “Following a number of league-wide discussions throughout the last several weeks, we have decided to exercise caution in the interest of student-athletes, fans and the general community,” Ivy League executive director Robin Harris said.
    So far, most schools have canceled “face-to-face instruction” and moved to online/remote instruction for at least the next couple of weeks. Some took more significant steps. Bryan Alexander, a higher education consultant and instructor at Georgetown, is tracking university responses to coronavirus and estimated late Tuesday that closures or moves to remote instruction affect more than 1.3 million college students.
    Central Connecticut State hasn’t changed its class schedule, but has suspended all university-sponsored travel outside the state to limit exposure to COVID-19. The school said it would handle athletics trips on a case by case basis, and in the case of a trip to Omaha for a baseball series against Creighton, it decided to cancel.

    The weekend series with Central Connecticut State has been cancelled as the Blue Devils declined to travel to Omaha.

    Fordham hasn’t canceled any games yet, but the school did issue a statement on Monday that its home athletic events will be closed to spectators through the end of March due to coronavirus. Like other schools, it’s encouraging people to follow the games by radio or streaming video. The Rams play Wagner at home on Wednesday and have a home-and-home series against St. John’s this weekend. St. John’s has also suspended face-to-face instruction and asked students to leave campus and return home by Wednesday.
    No conference, nor the NCAA, has issued official policies on how schools should move forward with their response to COVID-19.
    The NCAA issued a statement Tuesday from president Mark Emmert: “NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play. As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available. Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”
    Schools are taking significant steps to limit “social contact” among their students, usually in response to coronavirus cases reported in close proximity to their campuses, or in some cases among the student body.
    Vanderbilt, for example, has at least one student who has tested positive for coronavirus and several others who were exposed to the virus. Maxwell Schulman, 21, contracted the virus while on spring break in Spain. While he is recovering at home, some students who were exposed to the virus did return to campus.
    “We had two friends who were coming on the trip that decided to cancel because they were scared about coronavirus,” Schulman told WSMV-TV of Nashville. “We all made jokes about it, we thought they were idiots. Uh, so it turns out we were the idiots.”
    Vanderbilt has canceled classes for the rest of this week, and in-person classes for the remainder of March. The university also canceled all group gatherings of any kind — except athletics — through the end of April. Like other schools, Vandy also set up a coronavirus response section on the university website to provide resources for students, employees and parents.
    The school announced Wednesday that while it had not made any changes to athletic schedules, it was implementing guidelines to try to limit the transmission of disease. Vanderbilt won’t sell any concessions or beverages, will eliminate in-game promotions and giveaways, and will urge fans to utilize practices such as social distancing.
    Coronavirus is already having a more profound impact on the West Coast, where more cases have been reported. Santa Clara County in California has restricted any gatherings of more than 1,000 people, though it is not clear yet how that could affect sporting events.
    Santa Clara announced on Tuesday a shift to virtual classes, and asked students to go home until at least April 13. The school also announced that it would cancel all campus events. “Based on guidance from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, all university-sponsored events with 150+ guests will be altered, postponed or canceled through April 19, at which time we will reevaluate this restriction,” the school said in a statement.
    Stanford, which is also in Santa Clara County, has also asked students to go home and “not plan to return to campus until further notice.” The school has not called off any athletic events yet, but has said it will limit attendance to one-third of any venue’s capacity.
    In Southern California, UCLA and USC both announced Tuesday they are suspending spectator admittance to any athletic events outside of essential personnel, family of the student-athletes and media. UCLA announced the restrictions will be in place until at least April 11 while Southern California’s limitations are through March 29. The Bruins are slated to host Oregon to open Pac-12 play this weekend and would play 11 of their remaining 21 home games without fans before the precautions are lifted. The Trojans are supposed to play a home game against Xavier this evening before opening conference play against Washington this weekend.
    UC Santa Barbara announced it will hold all sporting events “without fans in attendance for the foreseeable future” in a statement that also included the university switching to remote instruction through at least the end of April. Andrew Checketts’ Gauchos are off to a 13-2 start and have home series scheduled each of the next three weekends, but uncertainty now looms.
    Washington has not lost any baseball games yet, but tennis matches have been canceled as visiting teams elected not to travel to Seattle. The school has stopped selling tickets to athletic events in anticipation of more restrictive policies in the days ahead. Right now public health officials in Washington are recommending “social distancing,” but those recommendations could soon become mandatory. Washington governor Jay Inslee is expected to announce restrictive measures for fans later this week.
    “In anticipation of the implementation of additional actions for social distancing at large events, the University of Washington athletic department will stop ticket sales to upcoming spring sporting events until further direction is given by state and local health officials,” the school said in a statement.
    Other Division 1 schools that have canceled classes or moved to remote instruction:
    • Akron
    • Bucknell
    • California
    • Cincinnati
    • Columbia
    • Duke
    • Fordham
    • Harvard
    • Hofstra
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kent State
    • Loyola Marymount
    • Maryland
    • Monmouth
    • Ohio State
    • Princeton
    • Quinnipiac
    • Rice
    • Rutgers
    • St. John’s
    • Saint Louis
    • San Jose State
    • Santa Clara
    • Seattle
    • Seton Hall
    • Southern California
    • Stanford
    • Towson
    • UCLA
    • UC San Diego
    • UC Santa Barbara
    • Vanderbilt
    • Washington
    • Yale

  • Discussion
  • Arrived just in time to salvage our season . . .

  • user generated

    This post was edited by Coeus 11 months ago

  • Diablo06 said... (original post)Arrived just in time to salvage our season . . .

    Honestly, since the SEC suspended play through March and they were opening conference play this weekend, all of the records and results should be null and void. No matter if it is business as usual, college baseball will have lost three weekends. The national champion will forever have an asterisk because it was played in a shortened season.

    Just scrap the whole thing, hit the reset button and start again next year. 4-12? Never happened...