Centennial Conference sports programs have been suspended due to concern over the coronavirus. In a meeting on March 13, the Centennial Conference Presidents Council, composed of representatives from each member college, voted unanimously on the decision.
From March 16, all spring sports related activities, including practices and competitions, will be suspended until further notice. This does not include the teams that are practicing and competing over spring breaks. Teams already practicing are permitted to finish their week of training according to the Centennial Conference Presidents Council.
The decision was announced to Dickinson College on Friday, Mar. 12, in an email sent to the Dickinson College community by President Margee Ensign. Ensign said the decision made by the Presidents Council as well as her continued goal to maintain health and safety of students in this troubling time.
In an email, Dickinson College Head of Athletics Joel Quattrone explained that the decision was made with focus on the health and welfare of all college athletes as well as the communities that are also affected by athletics. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, athletic activities were suspended. Director of Athletics & Recreation of the Centennial Conference Jennifer Baker declined to comment.
Student athletes responded to the announcement with disappointment. “I’m sad that our season was cut short and I feel bad for the seniors because I know how hard they’ve been working” said Alexandra Colby ’22, “but with a lot of other schools cancelling as well as professional sports, it was the right thing to do.
Rachael Crezna ’21 said, “We are all disappointed that the spring season was suspended. It’s heartbreaking to have the season suspended after months of preparation. We were looking forward to the season, but realize it is a part of the process of keeping the world safe.”
Drew Stern ’22 said, “The season being suspended is really disappointing for us. It’s really a shame for kids to have their academic and athletic years, and essentially their lives, cancelled. In the end though, because of this, I think we’ll treat every minute of practice, of competition, and of the season like it’s our last going forward.”
Sports at the national level have also been impacted by fears over the coronavirus. The National Basketball League (NBA) suspended the remainder of its season on March 11, while Major League Baseball (MLB) has delayed opening day by two weeks from the original opening day of March 26, at which time the league will reevaluate whether the season will commence, according to ESPN. The National Hockey League (NHL) also suspended their season on March 12 according to CBS. According to CNN, the 2020 Summer Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, will proceed as planned.
The Centennial Conference is composed of Bryn Mawr College, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Johns Hopkins University, McDaniel College, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Washington College.
A decision regarding the possible suspension of fall sports has not yet been made by the Centennial Conference.