Coronavirus’ Impact on Sports

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By Corey Picard

Staff Reporter

I was walking back to my room when my mom called. She was curious about some rumors she had heard about the school transitioning to online class because of the Coronavirus.

When I walked into my dorm, my roommate looked shocked. He told me to check the team’s group-chat, where someone had broken the news.

On Monday, March 9, Sacred Heart University (SHU) transitioned to online classes. They were the first Connecticut university to do so.

As a member of SHU’s Division I Track and Field teams, I was concerned. What did this news mean for practice? What about the first few meets?

The sports fan in me worried, too. What would happen to March Madness? They wouldn’t cancel it, right?

I stayed for practice that week, and the concern became less about the opening meets and more about if we would have a season at all.

We ran, we thought, we worried, and we ran more. With more and more schools cancelling seasons, we feared that we were next.

By Thursday, the inevitable was clear. With the cancellation of March Madness and the Northeast Conference suspending all competition, we were not going to have a season.

Since that Monday, most sports have been cancelled or suspended, without knowing when they will return. I moved out of my dorm and adjusted to college at home, training included.

I feel for winter sports teams that worked throughout the season only for it to end before the culmination. I feel for seniors who were looking forward to one final season in their careers.

Senior Nick Pandolfo was part of the relay team that broke SHU’s 4 by 800 meter record in March. As happy as he was to cement himself in SHU’s program history, he wanted to improve upon it during the outdoor season.

“Mentally the cancellation was hard on all of us. It took a few days to set in,” said Pandolfo.

Like many senior athletes, he did not expect his career to end so suddenly. Along with the indoor track season, he now has two seasons of eligibility left and is considering a new possibility; pursuing a Master’s degree.

“I am highly considering doing a fifth year,” said Pandolfo. “If not, I can never do this again.”

With a life of hard work behind them, I hope more seniors are able to salvage a “silver lining” from this unprecedented situation.

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