Central Could Cancel Nearly Forty Contests Due To Coronavirus

Trevi Alickolli, Sports Editor

Worldwide panic and disruption: in the past month or so, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused exactly that throughout the United States. It’s affecting the sports world, the entertainment aspect of professional sports and now, even Central Connecticut State sports.

COVID-19 has had an impact here on campus with numerous trips canceled. However, after Connecticut State Colleges & Universities President Mark Ojakian’s announcement of the out-of-state travel ban regarding university business, the sports teams here at Central are now affected as well.

No Blue Devils athletic team is allowed to travel to any out of state game or meets until April 30, 2020.

The baseball and softball teams are directly impacted by this announcement as the baseball’s series against Creighton University was canceled and softball’s tournament in Florida was also canceled.

In a school-wide email addressing the coronavirus, CCSU President Dr. Zulma R. Toro stated that every athletic event scheduled for out of state will be handled on a case-by-case basis, but between four different sports, CCSU athletics could potentially cancel up to 38 games.

“The most important thing is the safety and health of our students, of our campus community, our student-athletes and our coaches,” Interim Athletic Director Tom Pincince said. “Any decisions that we make are made with that in mind.”

The baseball and softball games canceled will not be made up in the future.

Under the new travel ban, softball could miss up to 17 games. Baseball could miss up to 10, seven-track and field meets may never happen and Central’s women’s lacrosse team may miss four games. 

If games are canceled, Central plans to reschedule any Northeast Conference Matchups at a later date. Non-conference matchups will most likely not be rescheduled.

“Right now, out of state travel is limited but we’re going to have an opportunity to put together a list of games to make decisions on,” Pincince said. “We don’t have anything immediate that we have to decide on but we’ll make that decision based on what’s best for everybody.”

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). When you go to watch a sporting event, you are within very close contact with people, therefore if an infected person was in the stadium, the virus could spread like wildfire.

As a precaution, many professional leagues are prepared to play their games in empty arenas to prevent the spread of the virus within fans and their athletes. These plans are being talked about in the United States as well as around the world.

Central is also planning on playing some of their home games behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance.

Baseball’s home game against Manhattan College will be played with no one in attendance due to university rule that no school program should exceed over 100 people, according to Pincince.

The same thing will take place for the softball team, who will also play Manhattan College on Wednesday in a two-game series.

As far as any other games in the future, no decision has been made yet on if fans will be able to attend but Pincince said it’s an ongoing discussion.

“I think it’s going to be a continued discussion we are going to have,” Pincince said. “It’s a university decision, not just an athletics department decision snd we’re going to continue to do what’s best for everybody on campus.”

The coronavirus outbreak has reached all over the country, even all over the world and Central is taking the necessary steps within their athletic department to ensure everyone’s safety.

For now, the Blue Devils are taking a cautious approach, canceling their games in the upcoming future but if the virus improves, they are leaving the door open to continue their sporting events as scheduled.

It’s a waiting game.