GENEVA — What seems like something out of Hollywood has become a reality in the blink of an eye.
COVID-19 has brought the world — including sports — to a screeching halt in just a week. On Tuesday, it was announced that William Smith vs. Skidmore lacrosse would be postponed. A single postponement seemed shocking at the time, but days later the idea of postponing rather than canceling seems out of the norm.
The impact of the virus has rendered all gatherings mute as the Finger Lakes region’s college sports scene has virtually been canceled altogether.
Here are the most recent updates regarding local college sports:
Hobart and William Smith CollegesGENEVA — Per the Liberty League, Northeast Conference and Intercollegiate Sailing Association, all spring sport seasons have been canceled, effective immediately.
The following statement from the Liberty League affects Hobart golf, rowing and tennis as well as William Smith golf, lacrosse, rowing and tennis.
”Pursuant to the decision by the NCAA on Thursday to cancel the remainder of its winter and spring championships due to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, the Liberty League Presidents have unanimously agreed to cancel all remaining Liberty League regular season and championship competition effective immediately.
Our Liberty League members arrived at this difficult and challenging decision after a thorough review of information from local, state, federal, and other public health authorities. While we recognize the disappointment that this decision will bring to our student-athletes, our top priority continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our students and their families, coaches, campus constituents and surrounding communities.
The Liberty League will continue to advocate for the NCAA to restore a season of eligibility for all student-athletes impacted by the cancellation of seasons due to the COVID-19 situation.”
With this announcement, Hobart tennis finishes with a 4-2 record following its 7-2 victory over Hamilton last week. For William Smith tennis, the Herons finish their spring season 0-3. Herons lacrosse finishes 3-2 after beating Dickinson last Sunday. HWS sailing puts their boats away with just three events completed — with first, second and ninth place finishes.
Hobart and William Smith golf and rowing had not yet begun their spring seasons.
Meanwhile, Hobart lacrosse plays apart from the rest of the institution in Division I’s Northeast Conference, who released the following statement:
”With the evolving nature of the COVID-19 public health threat and in light of yesterday’s announcement by the NCAA to cancel the remaining NCAA championships, the Northeast Conference Presidents convened by conference call this morning and voted to cancel all competition (conference and non-conference) as well as organized and formal practices for all teams on NEC campuses for the remainder of the spring semester. In addition, the NEC has announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus in-person recruiting activities until further notice.
The announcement means Hobart will end the season with a 4-1 record, the fewest games played in a season by the Statesmen since 1940 (5-0).
Keuka CollegeKEUKA PARK — Keuka College has not only canceled all spring sports seasons, but also men’s volleyball. Men’s volleyball began in late January, but is technically a winter sport.
Keuka College released the following statement on Friday:
”In light of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) decisions to cancel spring championships Thursday, Keuka College has canceled its spring athletics seasons.
No further competitions or practices will take place for traditional and non-traditional sports with the exception of baseball and softball. Those two teams are out of state and will complete their trips prior to the conclusion of their seasons upon their return.
Keuka College announced this week that it will extend spring break an extra week, through March 27, and transition to online-only instruction beginning March 30. These steps were taken in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to minimize large gathering to reduce the potential for transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
The College hopes to resume on-campus instruction later in the semester. College officials are closely monitoring the situation and will provide updates as decisions are made.”
Community College HOPEWELL — Unlike other area colleges, FLCC has chosen to suspend and not yet cancel its spring sports season and basketball championships. As of now, FLCC athletics will be suspended through April 3 and the NJCAA basketball championships until April 20.
The following is a statement from the NJCAA on the response to COVID-19:
”As we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it impacts our member colleges, the NJCAA has made the decision to suspend all spring competition through Friday, April 3rd. Along with the postponement of Basketball Championships until April 20th.
The NJCAA is also extending the hardship season completion ruling to 60 percent — should teams cancel their season before the limit is reached. Student-Athletes will not be charged a year of eligibility, for the 2020-21 season.The NJCAA is also looking at increasing its allowable number of Letter of Intents which will be vetted by the Eligibility Committee. Our goal is to look after the safety and security of all involved, while also still providing a pathway to allow opportunities for our student-athletes and the ability to compete for a national championship.
The NJCAA will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.”
With the possibility of no high school or local collegiate athletic competition for the remainder of the school year, it is now up to the NCAA to decide whether to allow an additional year of eligibility for student-athletes set to graduate across all divisions and levels of college sports.