The Challenges of Student-Athletes in the Pandemic

Maguire Fitzgerald, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has been trying times for many. It has brought new challenges to everyday life. This is the same for student-athletes. Practices, workouts, and team meetings have all changed drastically. As a student-athlete, I can tell you it isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
Practices are under strict social distancing guidelines. Six feet of distance must be maintained at all times. Masks are to be worn always unless you are drinking water or any drink. No spectators can come watch games or scrimmages.
All meetings are held on Zoom to reduce the number of contacts. Starting this spring, nasal tests are being administered twice a week. Any positive test results in a quarantine period and contact tracing is done. Any close contacts also result in a quarantine period.
Workouts are completed off campus. Madison College students have been given free memberships to Planet Fitness.
Recruiting has been difficult as well. The NCAA issued a recruiting dead period through April 15th. The dead period eliminates all contact except over the phone.
The NCAA and NJCAA have given student-athletes their eligibility back as well. Eligibility wise, this year doesn’t count. With eligibility given back last year as well, second year athletes will be freshman athletically for this year and the next. This has caused a major back-up in collegiate athletics that coaches will have to deal with for years to come.
The school has been working diligently to figure out the logistics of practice, testing, travel, games, and the many other factors that go into planning a season. They always have the best interest of the student-athlete’s health in mind.
I think I can speak for all athletes when I say that we are all happy to be given the opportunity to play. Despite all of the regulations and safety parameters, everyone is ecstatic to be back.