Atlantic East Conference cancels the remainder of spring sports seasons


Photo courtesy of the Atlantic East Conference

Brendan Murphy, Assistant Sports Editor

The Atlantic East Conference, along with all seven of its member schools, has canceled the remainder of the spring sports seasons, according to a post on the conference’s Website.

“With the safety and well-being of our students and campus communities being paramount and the rapid and evolving nature of COVID-19, Atlantic East Conference, with unanimous support from the Presidents Council, made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining 2020 spring season and championships, effectively immediately. Along with its six fellow institutions, Marywood University will not participate in athletics competition for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year,” according to a press release from the Atlantic East Conference.

The news comes just days after the NCAA decided to cancel all remaining winter and spring championships. In light of these circumstances, the NCAA made the decision to give all spring athletes affected by the cancelations an extra year of eligibility, meaning that if a senior was planning on attending graduate school, they could now play their respective sport during their fifth year.

“We recognize the disappointment that this decision will bring to our student-athletes, families and fans; however, with the new Center for Disease Control recommendations and ever-changing local, state and national restrictions, we felt it was in the best interest of our student-athletes, campus support staff and local communities,” according to a press release from the Atlantic East Conference.

Senior on Marywood’s Baseball team Jake Schuster said this season was one he had been looking forward to for a long time, but the decision didn’t come as much of a surprise.

“I think we all pretty much knew it was coming,” said Schuster. “It’s just unfortunate that some of us will have to go out like this.”

The extra year of eligibility may come in handy for someone like Schuster who is weighing his options for next year.

“I’m going to have to take it day by day but I definitely would like to try to use the extra year,” said Schuster.

Marywood Baseball head coach Jason Thiel said it was a difficult task trying to answer questions from his players during their spring break trip to Port St. Lucie, Florida last week.

“Odd spring break trip, that’s no doubt,” said Thiel. “Being 1000 miles away made it difficult to figure out what to do for everyone. As coaches, trying to answer questions and trying and keep everyone focused was tough. It’s also a tough way for our seniors to go out especially since they were our first group of guys after we took over the program four years ago.”

Thiel also said he saw some unexpected things while away with the team over spring break.

“There were teams that were told to leave and go home by their athletic directors in the middle of a game last week,” said Thiel. “Never in a million years did I ever think something like this would happen. The last two days was almost like a fog with everything going on. Baseball is pretty trivial with all of this.”

Marywood University will move to online classes beginning March 23. Face-to-face classes are scheduled to resume on April 13.

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