Photos from: CSUB Athletics
With the global spread of COVID-19, many forms of entertainment have had to be either postponed or cancelled outright. This unfortunate reality has spread through the world, and college sports have not been spared by its advance. The Roadrunners have proven themselves to be committed, dedicated and passionate about their games. This sudden loss of their ability to compete and perform is sure to affect them in various ways. Speaking with some of the athletes, this impression is confirmed.
CSU Bakersfield baseball senior infielder Tyler Jorgensen was one of the more outspoken athletes when this shutdown began. While Jorgensen expressed his deep disappointment in the loss of the 2020 season, he still understands that the shutdown was necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19 in highly populated areas.
Track and field senior runner Curt Threlkeld expressed his initial reactions, saying that when he was hearing about what was happening, he believed that it wouldn’t reach CSUB. He is, however, understanding of the situation, saying, “There’s always going to be an 800m run later.”
The COVID-19 situation has not stopped Threlkeld from perfecting his craft. He says the cancellation of sporting events has seemed to regress many runners into training, and confirmed that he himself is still training and running. “If you don’t treat this like a season and you take this much time off, it’s going to catch up with you.”
Senior shortstop for the Roadrunners softball team Cydney Curran had similar disappointments about the abrupt end to their season, mentioning that this was going to be the team’s last season together. “It just breaks my heart because all of our hard work and sacrifices that we have made got stripped away in a snap of a finger.”
Seniors on the CSUB baseball and softball teams were looking forward to this final season of playing with their teammates, as well as making one final push in the school’s last season in the Western Athletic Conference.
The pandemic has devastated the normalcy of many people’s lives and thrust them into uncertainty, athletes included. Curran stated she was confused at first about why the sporting events were being shut down before campuses had transitioned into their new alternate delivery. In her opinion, being on campus was more dangerous than congregating for sporting events.
“Initially, I found it confusing that sporting events were being cancelled because school hasn’t even been shut down, and more people gather on campus in comparison to our sports team, which was less than 30 people,” she said.
A final thought Jorgensen had was regarding the NCAA eligibility relief plan, which seeks to extend the eligibility for college athletes who have been affected by COVID-19, and the necessary shut down of sporting events. “They have said they’re going to do it (extend eligibility) for spring sports, so that’s a big step, but how they will do it is the big part,” Jorgensen said.
“I do feel for the winter sports that got their post-season cut short too. In my opinion, I feel that there should be a way that they can get another year too,” Curran said about the eligibility relief plan.
Reactions to this situation are varied and complicated. Many understand but aren’t exactly happy about the developments. Thankfully, CSUB’s student athletes are looking forward to what the eligibility relief plan may bring for them, and hopeful that it could restore the time they’ve lost due to the global pandemic. The NCAA Council will meet to vote on the pending eligibility plan on Monday, March 30.