Queens College (QC) was one of the many schools that made the tough choice to cancel all winter sports amid spiking COVID-19 numbers. It was a tough decision considering all that was lost for both students and faculty, but one that wasn’t without precedence to justify it. The Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) voted to cancel regular-season and championships for winter sports due to the coronavirus.
The months of worrying and wondering have come to a close for the PSAC student-athletes that would be regularly participating in winter sports. For the Board of Directors, it was a tough decision, yes, but one worth making for their members under the circumstances. “With careful consideration to health concerns and realistic abilities to conduct sports seasons amid this pandemic, our conference and our membership is forced to make some very difficult decisions,” stated PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. “With the time we have to continue weighing our options, we are fully committed to playing a spring sports season. We will remain supportive of any other decisions to play sports and host championship events should our membership view it as a safe and reasonable opportunity.”
Sports affected include basketball, cross country, indoor track & field, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, and swimming. This unfortunate news comes at a time where Pennsylvania has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases. According to the Department of Health, as of Dec. 2, 2020, 54 of the 67 Pennsylvania counties are seeing north of 2,000 cases per 100,000 people, with around 51.4 percent of new cases daily. The positivity rate is 13.1 percent, with that number increasing gradually.
COVID-19 remains a large issue in New York as well where there were 8,973 cases reported on Dec. 1 alone, the most since way back in April 2020. The positivity rate has climbed exponentially at an alarming rate, as it is now 4.63 percent. These rising numbers are why Rob Twible, Director of Athletics at Queens College in consultation with CUNY and others, decided to cancel all winter sports, agreeing with PSAC on the dangers of playing sports at this time. Twible stated in an open letter to the Queens College community that, “the safety and health of our students, staff, and community is of the highest priority and conducting a season under current health conditions would just not be possible.” When contacted for a stance on the matter, an individual representing the Athletics Department agreed with Twible stating, “The health and safety of our student-athletes is always our highest priority.”