Tim Folliard – Sports Editor
Across the country, very few Division III schools have been playing basketball. Adrian College in Michigan and Trine University in Indiana are the only nearby Division III schools that have played more than one game this season.
Benedictine’s conference, the NACC, has not announced anything about the 2021 athletic season since August 31st. Which was only 100 days ago. As it stands currently, the first basketball games are to be played on January 16th.
In their statement, NACC Commissioner stated “It is important to note that the NACC plan for 2020-21 Fall/Winter Sport Conference Competition and Championships is just that, a plan. This is not a promise. Through its Council of Chief Executive Officers and standing committees composed of athletics administrators, the NACC is committed to doing its best to provide a quality student-athlete experience, but in a way that is safe for our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, campuses, and local communities.”
A lot of factors will remain out of the NACC and Benedictine’s control when it comes to whether or not a season will take place.
In Division I, College basketball’s keynote game between #1 Gonzaga and #2 Baylor was cancelled just two hours before tipoff after a player tested positive for COVID-19. So far this season, many games have been canceled. This week’s NC State vs. Michigan and Louisville vs. Wisconsin’s matchups have already been cancelled.
In a joint statement released by the head coaches of Gonzaga and Baylor saying, “When we decided to play during a pandemic, our priorities were protecting the health and safety of student-athletes and following public health guidelines, and we’re proud of how both programs have held true to those promises. There are much greater issues in this world than not being able to play a basketball game, so we’re going to continue praying for everyone who has been affected by this pandemic.”
Despite the Louisville vs. Wisconsin game being cancelled, Wisconsin will still have a home game that night. They will play the University of Rhode Island instead. This will likely be a trend that will continue throughout the rest of college basketball season.
On the brightside, the University of Illinois has gotten off to a good start this season. The Fighting Illini are currently ranked #6 in the country and are scheduled to play #10 Duke this week. The Illini’s only loss was against Baylor.
Along with Division I, some Division II basketball play has started as well. Neighboring Lewis University has played two games and has had one game cancelled against Southern Indiana. Only time will tell how many, or if any games will be played in 2021. Until then, the never-ending COVID battle wages on.