Winter, spring athletic competition canceled at CSUSM

California Collegiate Athletic Association’s decision is to protect “the health and safety of everyone involved”

Student+athletes+will+have+to+wait+another+semester+to+compete.+%28Pictured%3A+Sarah+Aragon+on+the+women%27s+soccer+team.%29

Photo courtesy of CSUSM Athletics

Student athletes will have to wait another semester to compete. (Pictured: Sarah Aragon on the women’s soccer team.)

Brittney Scardina, Staff Writer

The California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) announced on Dec. 3 that there will be no athletic competition for the spring semester. 

By the next time competition is allowed, student athletes will have not played competitively for a year and a half. 

“CCAA Board of Presidents, in conjunction with conference and institution athletics administrators, has made the tough decision to forgo formalized 2020-21 CCAA conference schedules and championships for all sports,” read the CCAA news release in part. 

“[F]rom the day this pandemic took effect, every decision we made going forward has been focused on the health and safety of everyone involved. We remain committed to providing as many meaningful engagement opportunities for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff throughout the rest of the 2020-21 academic year,” said CCAA Commissioner Mitch Cox in the statement.

CSUSM’s Director of Athletics Jennifer Milo said, “I was very disappointed and sad, but I respect the decision and I agree with the decision.”

I was very disappointed and sad, but I respect the decision and I agree with the decision.”

— Jennifer Milo, CSUSM's Director of Athletics

Milo and the rest of the athletic department understand that this is something they have to get through together, and they will continue to support student athletes by providing many department resources. 

Milo said that the athletic department makes it their goal to take care of student athletes by encouraging them to take care of themselves, physically and mentally, while also staying connected to their teams. 

While the decision to suspend competition for the spring semester has been very hard for student athletes to come to terms with, they are now doing their best to stay motivated for fall 2021.

Sarah Aragon, a third-year business major on the women’s soccer team, believes the athletic department has been very transparent in listening to what student athletes are saying and feeling.

Aragon is very optimistic for the fall and has a plan to stay in shape so that she can be ready to eventually play again. 

… I saw [the CCAA decision] coming but at the same time it was hard to take.”

— Zack Schuberg, student athlete on the baseball team

“I want to keep a goal of running five days a week and two, three days on the soccer ball,” said Aragon.

Zack Schuberg, a fourth-year kinesiology major on the baseball team, said, “[B]ecause of how the fall semester went, the announcement of spring online, cases getting worse and us going into a purple tier again, I saw [the CCAA decision] coming but at the same time it was hard to take.”

Schuberg said it was tough to hear the news, but he especially feels bad for the newer members of the team, including freshmen, sophomores and transfers. Since part of last season was canceled as well as this entire year, some students haven’t experienced a full season and some haven’t played in competition at all.

Zack Schuberg on the baseball team is disappointed about the cancellation of competition, but is trying to make the most of his extra time by focusing on other hobbies. (Photo courtesy of CSUSM Athletics)

On the bright side, Schuberg said that without having to compete on a team, he now has time to focus on himself and do other things that make him happy, like surfing and golfing.

The spring semester will continue as the fall did for student athletes, with virtual team meetings and virtual workouts. 

“We are hoping to be back in person and able to compete in the fall. So, our coaches are hoping to do more activity virtually to gear up to return to campus in the fall of ‘21,” said Milo. 

For the latest CCAA updates, visit goccaa.org/sports/2020/3/25/covid-19-resources.aspx.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California