FGCU Athletics Prepare for Spring Semester as COVID Cases Rise

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(EN Photo / Brad Young)

Nick Asselin, Sports Editor

FGCU Athletics faced their first schedule change due to COVID-19 protocols in 2022 after the men’s basketball ASUN opener was moved from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5. As COVID cases surge amid the Omicron variant, this schedule change could be a sign of what’s to come for the spring semester of FGCU Athletics.

According to the Associate Athletics Director for Athletic Communication John Sinnett, FGCU Athletics will adhere to CDC, state and FGCU COVID-19 guidelines, as well as those from the NCAA and ASUN to protect players from COVID-19.

Currently, FGCU has no plans to limit fan capacity at any sporting events for the spring semester. According to Sinnett, FGCU expects fans, as well as staff and student-athletes, to take personal precautions as outlined in the CDC guidelines for their health and wellbeing.

FGCU sophomore Matt Civale thinks games remaining at full capacity is the right move. As opposed to last year when attendance was limited, Civale doesn’t believe it makes sense in the long term to limit attendance.

“I think wearing a mask and going out is a personal decision you can make,” Civale said. “You shouldn’t be barring people from personal decisions.”

Civale also believes fan attendance will help give FGCU an advantage at their home games. In the 2020 NFL season that featured little to no fan attendance, this theory was given credence as teams playing on the road won 50.2% of the time, an all-time high. Compared to 2018, teams playing at home won 60% of the time.

“Home court is a very real thing and what aids in that is having fans,” Civale said. “Does it give a competitive advantage? Potentially.”

In December, the State University System of Florida and Board of Governors shared a letter about expectations for the spring term. The letter states that all 12 of Florida’s state universities will continue to offer a wide range of academic classes and degree programs and that facilities will be fully utilized based on the needs of each institution.

“Throughout the pandemic, our primary concern remains the health and wellbeing of our student-athletes,” Sinnett said. “We continue to work with campus leadership along with local, state, ASUN, and NCAA officials who have been tremendous partners over the last 22 months.”

Any schedule changes for FGCU Athletics will be posted on FGCUAthletics.com, FGCU Athletics’ Twitter (@FGCUEagles) and Facebook (FGCU Athletics).

Both the men and women’s basketball teams look to continue their hot starts to the season. The men’s basketball team entered 2022 with a 10-4 record and the women’s team entered with an 11-1 record. The FGCU swim and dive team will be continuing their season as well.

Other FGCU sports to look out for at the start of this semester is men and women’s tennis and golf along with softball and baseball.