COVID-19’s Impact on SHU Athletics

Sacred Heart University (SHU) put a pause on all athletics on Nov 6. due to the abundance of positive COVID-19 cases in the SHU community. Announcements have been made on the status of each sport going forward since Nov. 6.

According to Sacred Heart Athletics, men’s and women’s basketball have started up practice and games are to follow.

The men’s basketball team has a game scheduled against Rutgers University on Nov. 25 with a status of “to be announced” (TBA), and a game against Fairfield University on Nov. 29 with a set time of 2:00 p.m.

“The stoppage of sports has definitely affected our team. Our normal preparation for the season was dramatically changed,” said men’s basketball head coach Anthony Latina.

The women’s basketball team has two games scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. The Pioneers will play on the road at Fairfield University on Nov. 25 and Monmouth University on Nov. 28.

“I am truly a creature of habit, and when we had to start quarantining and canceling practices due to certain COVID issues, I had moments where I felt off from my daily routines,” said sophomore women’s basketball guard Olivia Dabney. “I was also concerned about my team’s well-being.”

The men’s ice hockey team was scheduled to play their season opener on Nov. 21 against American International College. That game, as well as games scheduled for Nov. 24 and a two-game series on Nov. 27 have been postponed. No further dates have been announced for those games.

According to a press release by Sacred Heart, on Nov. 17 the Northeast Conference (NEC) of Presidents voted to delay the 2021 Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship to April 7-10.

All decisions have led to an unusual fall semester that has been forever changing.

“It affected my routine and schedule that I do daily when I’m not on the pause, which is getting extra work and conditioning in,” said junior men’s basketball guard Aaron Clarke. “For practice not much has changed besides just having to reset and get your footing underneath you again.”

Coaches are focused on keeping their players engaged and ready for any potential change.

“We have just stressed the importance of staying as focused, ready and flexible as possible,” said Latina. “We know that this season will be like no other that we have ever been part of, so we need to embrace the uncertainty and find a way to thrive anyway.”

On Nov. 17 Sacred Heart Athletics also gave an update about all fall sports. These sports include men’s and women’s soccer, football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, and women’s volleyball.

The NEC Council of President’s in conjunction with conference administrators and the NEC’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee have developed a set of guidelines to follow to determine decisions for fall sports going forward.

The next announcement on fall-to-spring plans is scheduled for early December.

Staff writer Patrick Billings contributed to this article

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