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Athletes Discuss NCAA Cancellation of Fall Sports

By Andrew Scarpaci, Sports Editor

On Thursday, August 13 NCAA President Mark Emmett announced all fall sports championships will be canceled for the season. With the exception of FBS football, all Division I sports will not hold competition for the time being, with a possibility of fall sports competing during the winter or spring seasons.

This was not the first announcement of a delay to sports for LIU student-athletes. The Northeast Conference (NEC) announced on Wednesday, July 29 that they will be postponing all fall sports competition until October. Any team sponsored practices, training and meetings will be at the discretion of each university and team individually. 

These decisions will affect how student athletes will plan for the near future of their athletic seasons.

Sammy Bell is a senior on the Field Hockey team. She believes the postponement of the season will be hard to grasp, considering there is still no guarantee on whether there will be a season later on. “The postponement of our season is going to be a tough adjustment for everyone, especially not knowing whether we will play our season in the spring or not,” Bell said. “Personally, it’s going to be hard to motivate myself to workout and find goals to work towards without the encouragement of my coaches and teammates everyday at practice.”

Bell feels the situation is a heartbreaker, especially for her and other seniors, who may not get a chance to finish out their collegiate careers together, but it is optimistic of the prospect of being able to play in the spring. 

“If we do play our season in the spring, it is definitely going to be interesting,” she said. “We haven’t played together as a team since February, and now we’ll be introducing a number of new players to the team, there will be a lot of adjusting but we all have the same goals.”

Bell is hoping that the NCAA, the NEC, and LIU will get the season under way whenever they deem safe to do so. “We just wanna play the sport we love and enjoy being a team again so I’m sure everyone is working towards that,” she said. 

Isabelle Lebrun is a sophomore on the Ice Hockey team, which competes in the North East Women’s Hockey Alliance. While Lebrun is very unsure about the status of her season, she is not concerned about it affecting her practice schedule individually or collectively. 

“I doubt there’s ever been a time when athletes were, collectively, so unsure about the status of their seasons. Fortunately, training is always important, and whether or not we play games, working out is both a welcome and productive distraction,” Lebrun said. “Once we’re back together as a team, we’ll have the added benefit of helping each other train and holding each other accountable. Individually and together, we’ll just need to work hard, keep getting better, stay flexible, and be ready for whatever happens.”

Lebrun said she has been preparing for whatever the situation would be, and has high hopes based on the recent decision. “I have come to the conclusion that you need to be prepared for the worst, and in my case that was not having a season at all,” Lebrun said. “Recently we learned that we’ll be able to get on the ice together this fall, and that games are likely in the new year.  So, mentally, having been prepared for the worst-case scenario, the recent news is actually more energizing than disappointing.” 

Lebrun knows for sure her and her team will be ready to take the ice whenever that time will be and is very optimistic for what the season will hold.

“This season will definitely be very different than last, but something we can grow from, rally around, and build upon,” she said. “Whenever we get to play, we will make it work. We have all grown up playing hockey basically all year round, so I think that when we get on the ice, we will all just be glad to be there and adjust as we need.”

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