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NCAA cancels Winter & Spring Sports Seasons

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All Rutgers teams experienced an abrupt end to the 2019-2020 school year.

(Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics)

College sports are done for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, as the NCAA cancelled all winter and spring sports on Thursday. This came after the Big Ten already had done the same.

Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs made the following statement on Thursday night:

“This is an extraordinary moment in time. With each passing day, indeed, with each passing hour, we are reminded just how small our world is and how much we depend on each other in times of crisis. Sometimes we are called to make sacrifices, large and small. This is such a time. Nothing can be more important than the health of our fellow man.

“The announcement by the Big Ten Conference today to cancel athletic competition for the remainder of this academic year is in everyone’s best interest. The healthiest among us will sacrifice their athletic pursuits to aid our Nation in its efforts to contain the spread of this virus. We are deeply disappointed for our student-athletes. Their success on the fields and courts thrill us. They swell our chests with pride. Their success in the classroom reminds us what a wonderful path to lifelong success athletics provides. I know you join me in saying thank you to these wonderful young men and women. This has been a tremendous season for the Scarlet Knights.

“This hiatus from competition will I’m sure remind us of just how much joy our teams bring to our daily lives. Hopefully their sacrifice along with all the other actions that are being undertaken will bring an end to this health crisis as quickly as possible. Then our student athletes and coaches can return to writing what I believe will be Rutgers Athletics greatest chapter. In the meantime, guard your health Scarlet Nation. Go Knights!”

I think based on the current health crisis worldwide the NCAA absolutely made the right decision.

We specifically mourned the abrupt end of the NCAA Tournament for men’s basketball here and here yesterday. However, this is a sad day for all collegiate student-athletes and think of how many seniors had their careers ended literally overnight. It’s justified but still incredibly sad for them.

For Rutgers, the women’s basketball team was likely headed to a second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. Seniors Jordan Wallace, KK Sanders and Danielle Migliore are set to graduate. Wrestling was sending five to next week’s NCAA Championships, including senior Jordan Pagano. Men’s lacrosse off to just a 2-4 start, but 13 seniors just had their last season cut short. That includes the of the career of one of the best players in program history, Kieran Mullins. For the women’s lacrosse program, that means Samantha Budd, who registered 130 points in her career, is done as well.

Baseball, softball, track & field, gymnastics and many more. All done.

I’m still processing this all and plan to review all of these teams from the winter and spring that saw their seasons ended prematurely soon. Some readers have mentioned the idea of the NCAA granting an additional year of eligibility to student-athletes that were affected, but the viability of that option remains to be seen. I want to put more thought into the idea as well. My basic point is as sad as it was to see the Rutgers men’s basketball team have its season end in unprecedented fashion, it also happened to so many other dedicated Scarlet Knight student-athletes as well.

Stay safe and healthy while also keeping all of the Rutgers teams and especially the seniors in mind. They all deserve our appreciation.