Off the Field: A Look to the Future


Photo credit: Autumn Bohner

Brendan Murphy

The NCAA has yet to announce any plans as to whether or not schools will permitted to play sports in the fall and beyond. With fall seasons still in limbo, Marywood is beginning to prepare for both scenarios.

Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Murphy said he is airing on the side of caution when it comes to thinking about sports in the fall.

“I’m a big person that believes in being proactive in everything we try to do,” Murphy said. “But in this circumstance, we almost have to be reactive to what everyone else is doing.”

Murphy said he is trying to look at every possible option and wants to have some sort of a plan in place for each situation, but in these trying times, nobody knows what next week will be like let alone two months from now when student-athletes would be returning to campus for preseason.

“We’re trying our best to be as proactive as possible and look at all the different scenarios, but we’re really going to have to react to what else is happening out there,” Murphy said. “Right now it’s still kind of a let’s wait and see how this is going to shake out.”

Murphy also pointed out concerns about some of the Power Five Conferences’ schools in Division I sports.

“Most of those schools’ Athletic Departments are set up to be an organization within an organization,” Murphy said. “Athletics are usually set up to be like a business, self-sufficient, so the revenue they generate is what they’re allowed to spend. Very few make money at the end of the day. What happens when you’re normally losing $5 million a year, but now you’re not playing football in front of fans next year and you’ve taken out all that revenue, you’re taking out all the corporate sponsorship revenue. You’re going to go from a university having to subsidize its’ Athletic Department from $5 million to $205 million.”

With all of the new social distancing guidelines, Murphy said he believes that we could be looking at a very different feel when the fall rolls around with new potential mandates from the conference.

“I see us playing games with just essential game personal. I see games wearing face masks. I see games where as opposing teams come into the building we take their temperatures. I could see in basketball games them disinfecting the ball every possession. I think we’re going to be in a situation where we take our players temperatures constantly,” said Murphy.

If the fall season still happens, Murphy said another possible issue could be guaranteeing that buses being used are properly sanitized.

Many Marywood athletes have concerns about the health and safety of their teammates and themselves, but senior baseball player Morgan Theobald said he has faith that the Athletic Department will keep them safe.

“I think the Marywood athletics department will do what is necessary to keep its athletes, coaches, and fans safe,” Theobald said. “I do think society, especially in Pennsylvania, has a good grip on what’s needed to contain the virus.”

Theobald also believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught athletes things they may have never realized before.

“I think COVID will bring a more appreciation aspect to the game for upperclassman and add this new aspect to the game for younger class man that don’t really have to think about their time being over just yet with the sport,” Theobald said.

Only time will tell if or when fall sports will start playing, but with each passing day, more and more schools are formulating plans to keep their students and the visiting team’s players safe.

Contact the Writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU