While colleges all over the country have resumed athletic competitions under restrictions, one local university recently made an announcement that they won’t be playing until March 1st, and even then it isn’t guaranteed.
Student athletes at the University it Michigan Dearborn are now looking for sound reasons why they are seemingly the only institution that isn’t getting an opportunity to play.
Getting a collection of student athletes and coaches at U of M Dearborn to talk about what they feel is unfair wasn’t difficult. They look around the country as sports are back on, and while they must pause, they’re looking for clarity to this decision that’s effecting hundreds of athletes.
“I think that’s the magic question, at least from a communication perspective, but as the data all points out, that risk has largely been mitigated as the state is opening up,” U of M Dearborn basketball parent.
In a statement last Wednesday, the school said that “This plan is consistent with the University’s approach to prioritize the health and safety of the campus community.”
But these student athletes look around at all the other conferences that are playing, and don’t understand why they are the only ones on the outside looking in.
“If it really is a safety issue, does that mean that Chancellor Grasso values our safety that much more than every other chancellor values his students safety across the country? I just think it’s a little ignorant for him to assume he has that much more information, or knows that much better about the safety of his athletes than any other school in the country,” U of M Dearborn basketball player Jalen Paul said.
“Lawrence Tech, Madonna, Rochester, Sienna Heights, Spring Arbor, all of those are NAIA schools that have plans to move forward and are actively training and working out their athletes right now,” Sellers added.
The question on the financial implications are fair, as schools around the country are trying to find ways to maintain athletic departments during a time when the finical implications are large, but the students are saying they’ve been told that isn’t the case.
“I’m my meetings I’ve been told that it’s not financially driven, the studies are from John Hopkins, it was kind of transparent in a way where if we’re not in classes why should their be extracurriculars? If you can’t have extracurriculars, you can’t have athletics,” women’s golfer Brooke Spiege said.
“If there was a perfect way to put us in a bubble, having us on campus is the way to do it,” Paul added.
There will be a hearing with the board of regents on October 22nd where student athletes will have a chance to speak and express their concerns but as of October 5th, there are still no organized sports activities planned for any sport on campus.