CUC Athletics Adjusts to COVID-19

Written by: Kayla McCloud

As COVID-19 roars into the fall, schools everywhere are reaping the lasting effects of the virus. Not only do students across the nation have to adjust to the new norms of college life, but student-athletes are affected by the changing rules and requirements. As conferences across the nation postpone their seasons, Division III follows closely behind as they struggle to make the necessary changes.

Concordia has decided not to hold any official athletic activities for the first two weeks of the school year following the NCAA recommendations for a 14-day quarantine period. As they
finish up the 14-day quarantine, the next step is to start having small group practices, with limits of 10 athletes at a time. The long term goal is to eventually be able to practice without masks. When athletes were assigned housing, the decision was made to isolate teams in little “bubbles” to try to limit the overall exposure. By keeping teams on the same floor, they’re being exposed to their teammates more than anyone else.

Concordia made the decision to postpone conference games until after the new year as suggested by the NCAA. A committee was formed over the summer across the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference that was involved in monitoring the state of
everything in regards to COVID-19, and due to the increasing numbers in July, it became concerning to the committee. Eventually, with the NCAA making their official recommendations for postponing seasons, it became clear to the NACC committee that the safest thing to do was to postpone. Of all Division III schools in the country, the NACC was one of the last ten conferences to make the decision. In regards to the decision to postpone athletics, Assistant Director of Athletics Janet Wolbert said “It’s one thing to run a school safely, but managing multiple schools is the concern”.

As students become more comfortable on campus, the athletics department has been working hard to ensure that student-athletes are following the rules so that their seasons can be played eventually. “Wear your mask! Some athletes are doing good, some need some more reminders, but they get it. Student-athletes are disappointed and frustrated, but understand that we need to do it” Wolbert said in regards to athletes complying with the rules and regulations.