For the Record – Collegiate Sports and the Coronavirus

Kenneth Pittman -March 27, 2020

When Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Coronavirus on March 11th, the NBA announced that it would be suspending the rest of its season until further notice. What followed was a swift and almost blinding fast response across every major league and sport in North America. Within 24 hours following the NBA’s decision, the NHL, MLB, MLS, XFL and NCAA announced that they too would be suspending, and in some situations cancelling their seasons. 

SFU’s Softball was one of the sports who saw their season cut short due to the Coronavirus.
(@beauchevalier / Twitter)

As a result, local universities here in the Lower Mainland have seen their spring sport seasons cut short and at SFU, they find themselves in a unique situation. 

SFU is the lone Canadian university which can call itself a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the premier governing body of college sports in the United States. 

“It’s definitely unprecedented times, it’s something that the NCAA has never done, and it’s something professional sports has never done outside of a planned work stoppage.” Jacob Hall, Sports Information Manager at SFU. 

SFU saw their golf, track and field and softball seasons cut short due to the Coronavirus and with that comes a lot of uncertainty and of course, questions. What does this mean for the teams? The athletes? 

While professional athletes may miss their seasons, they at least have jobs that make money. The people hit the hardest are the athletes in college and graduating seniors, who may have played their final games. 

In a tweet to the seniors, SFU Athletic Director Theresa Hanson said…

“You’re all champions and are ready for whatever comes next.”

SFU’s graduating seniors who saw their final seasons cut short.

(@SFUClan / Twitter)

That leaves one big question. 

When will sports return? And if they do, what will that look like? These are unprecedented times and no one has the answers as to how to respond to something like this. 

Due to the fact that SFU participates in leagues south of the border, they find themselves dependent on both Canadian health officials and also those south of the border.  

So even if the virus has subsided here in Canada, the future will remain uncertain for the SFU athletes who compete in the US, as Jacob Hall points out in my interview with him below. 


You can hear the interview with Jacob Hall below: