COVID-19 Spikes Football, Other High-Risk Sports

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In an effort to keep student-athletes safe, College of DuPage announced that there will be no contact sports in the fall 2020 season. Which leaves three sports remaining: cross country, golf and women’s tennis.  The news comes as Illinois has entered into Phase 4 of its “Restore Illinois” Plan, which allows for schools to open under certain parameters.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines require public and nonpublic schools teaching prekindergarten to grade 12 to “[r]equire use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),” “[p]rohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering” and “[r]equire that schools conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks.” Although colleges and universities are not required to follow these guidelines, many administrators are following these guidelines in an effort to keep students healthy and safe.

Ryan Kaiser, hired as the new Athletic Director on Jan 6, 2020, said, “After a tremendous amount of deliberation and study as well as with the health of student-athletes and coaches as the College’s highest priority, we hope to compete in the 2020-21 academic year. Our continued goal is to support and keep our student-athletes engaged through the Fall 2020 semester.” 

Medium-risk sports, which include track and field, baseball, softball, as well as men’s tennis, will continue as planned in the spring 2021 season. High-risk sports, such as football, soccer and volleyball seasons will move to the spring 2021 semester. 

According to the press release by the COD Athletic Department, Kaiser believes this plan will regain a sense of normalcy.

The football team is one of the largest COD has; over 150 student-athletes are impacted by the changes made to the sports schedules. 

If you’re a COD student-athlete interested in sharing your experience, please contact the Courier at [email protected] or [email protected]