SULLIVAN COUNTY -- The casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to mount, not only in terms of the number of cases and fatalities, but also in the collateral damage to what we have come to regard …
SULLIVAN COUNTY -- The casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to mount, not only in terms of the number of cases and fatalities, but also in the collateral damage to what we have come to regard as normal and expected aspects of our lives.
For the students, athletes, coaches and fans of the SUNY Sullivan Generals men's and women's basketball teams, this much-anticipated season has now fallen by the wayside.
As Dean of Student Development Services and Athletic Director, Christopher DePew, sadly noted in his letter to the Sullivan Generals and friends, “After careful thought and consideration and in conjunction with 27 of the 30 SUNY Community Colleges, it has been decided that SUNY Sullivan will cancel our NCJAA winter indoor designated high-risk sports including basketball, volleyball and wrestling in the spring of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID pandemic.
“This decision does not come lightly, and I fully understand the disappointment and frustration,” he added. “However, in our commitment to the best interest, health and safety of our student athletes, coaches and staff, there is no other choice at this time.”
DePew went on to say that planning is going forward for the hoped-for resumption of intercollegiate athletics later in the spring that would include men's and women's track and field, men's and women's golf as well as baseball. He noted, “plans will be informed by nationally recognized sport safety agencies along with NYC, the CDC, and DOH governing athletic associations.”
Given the great success of both the men's and women's basketball teams last year that both reached the National Championship tournament by virtue of their Division Championships, this year was regarded as a chance to redeem what was lost last year as the tournaments were canceled.
Clearly that will not be the case.
Athletes will not lose a year of eligibility, but it remains to be seen how many will return to the fold.
The cancellation of the season will greatly impact the Sullivan County community as well as the games in the “Bunker” are normally a source of great entertainment and fervor during the long, bleak winter.