BenU Athletics on Pause Until 2021

Tim Folliard – Sports Editor

As campus closes this week, Benedictine athletics are locking up as well until the next calender year. Sports will not be able to train and have a two month break before they are able to return to campus. In years past, winter and spring sports would continue their training period.

“It is disappointing that we cannot come back and train, but these are unprecedented times.” Junior volleyball player Chase Olson said. “As a student-athlete, I greatly value that point of the season as it allows our team to get the year off on the right foot. I look forward to that because I do not have classes and can focus solely on my sport.”

This was the first fall semester without Benedictine University athletic competition since 1947. Benedictine looks to resume competition next semester, but a lot of external factors will determine whether or not that will take place. Schools will have to follow county, state and NCAA guidelines to compete.

On Friday, the state of Illinois went back into their Tier 3 Mitigation Plans. These restrictions cancelled all indoor sports and put the limit on outdoor sports to less than 10 people with social distancing in place. For Illinois restrictions to be lifted, the state must have a seven-day test positivity average below 12% for three consecutive days among other factors.

As schools face unprecedented financial burdens, they must be in compliance with the NCAA with the testing of student-athletes. Universities that Benedictine usually plays may not be in a financial position to buy large amounts of COVID tests. As of November 15th, Benedictine University has conducted 1,895 tests since August 31st.

The Ivy League has already cancelled all winter sports and postponed spring sports. The Division III championships for spring and winter sports are still scheduled and the NACC has not made any announcements on the upcoming season. For sports to resume, Benedictine will have to continue to hop over the ever-changing hurdles.