COVID-19 changes landscape of small-college sports | Sports
It is, indeed, a brave new world in college athletics from the top down.
“We just have to make the best of it,” said Steve Bell, Augie football coach.
That’s about all anybody can do with the state of affairs these days, both on and off the athletics fields.
A perfect example of the fluidity of schedules presented itself this fall. When the NCAA wiped fall championships off the board, colleges were informed that programs in the low- or mild-risk categories — tennis, golf, cross country — could hold contests.
Before any competitions could be held, that changed.
“We were hoping to be able to do that, but unfortunately, the NCAA and lawyers have made things very prohibitive to do that,” said Zapolski, boiling down that decision to “liability and legal concerns.”
“… During the month of August, the NCAA started putting out some comments from their legal side as it relates to COVID-19 and insurance and that started throwing up flags,” Zapolski said. “That’s when you started seeing Division I conferences that don’t sponsor football … all of a sudden, within 24 hours, all those conference said ‘We’re not doing anything until Jan. 1’ and that went through the whole NCAA — Divisions I, II, and III.”
According to Zapolski, the shortened competition seasons were agreed upon so student-athletes could retain a full year of eligibility for this school year if games are played. The limit for football programs is five. The limit for basketball teams is 13.