After the latest release from the Northwest Conference in regards to the safety of both student athletes and coaches in the midst of COVID-19, new restrictions have been put into place for the postponement of the 2020 fall season.
While the guidelines are generic across the conference, each school’s legal council has the role of interpreting what is consistent with these set boundaries, as well as how to follow the restrictions set forth by the county.
Savannah Cox, the Assistant Women’s Volleyball coach, says the NCAA Division III procedures have allowed for 114 days of practice over the fall season as well as an additional year of eligibility for all athletes.With that, student athletes are still restricted from having direct coaching from the staff because of Pacific’s legal interpretation.
“It’s been difficult to adjust to this situation because of the sudden changes in the legal council’s interpretations, but I appreciate that the well-being of the student athlete is a priority in this situation, rather than risking it for the sake of profit,” said Cox.
As a coach, Cox is most concerned about the incoming freshmen and the impact that the restrictions will have on their college experience. “I am worried about the lack of routine that is a result of not being able to practice, but I am excited that our athletes now have the ability to develop their identity outside of volleyball, with more time for things they wouldn’t normally have during the volleyball season,” said Cox.
For freshman Jeremiah Corpuz, a defensive lineman on the football team, his idea of his first year playing college football has been at the mercy of the continuous updates from the conference. “We haven’t had any official practices since we can’t meet with our coaches, so we’ve mostly been working out in the weight room individually with the hopes of getting back as soon as possible,” said Corpuz.
With the uncertainty of when he will be able to play normally with his team again, Corpuz is focusing on being the best player he can be for the team. “I think we are all more focused than ever. We’re not meeting in person, so it’s ultimately on us to keep ourselves in check to prepare for when we can play.”
As the county continues to progress through the different phases of returning to normal, athletic teams will be able to practice with certain guidelines as soon as this upcoming week. — Chandler Fleming