How COVID-19 Has Affected FGCU Student-Athletes
By Jake Henning
A little over a month ago on August 14th, the ASUN conference announced the postponement of all fall sports. Thus, ending the competitive seasons of many student-athletes here at FGCU.
Some of those athletes were nervous about how FGCU would take those precautions and the guidelines they would follow.
“Athletics has really been on top of testing everyone,” said FGCU women’s soccer sophomore Emily McCue. “I was a little nervous coming here from Canada, but they’ve made it a lot easier mentally to come in and train.”
And while teams are still able to practice and condition, they want to do it the right way and with as much care as possible. Under the right precautions, of course.
“At FGCU there’s not as much concern just because of all the precautions we’re taking through the athletic department,” says FGCU women’s volleyball senior Cortney Vanliew. “I was a little leery of traveling to other schools only because I didn’t know what their protocols were.”
Some athletes feel comfortable with FGCU’s protocols and guidelines, but many are concerned about the other ASUN schools and their ability to follow the same wavelength.
“It’s not just FGCU that has to make us feel comfortable,” said FGCU women’s soccer senior Zoey Spitzer. “It’s also all the rest of the ASUN schools and I think that they would be taking all of the same measures that we’re taking.”
ASUN university programs may continue with permissible athletic activities related to training and practice in accordance with NCAA, local and state guidelines.
When asked how more practicing could strengthen team chemistry, Vanliew spoke about how she’s grown closer with her teammates and how this feels like the most explosive offense volleyball has had in years.
“I believe we’d had a chance to develop our rhythm and our offense more than we’ve ever had,” Vanliew said. “I view that as an opportunity to really create connections with my teammates both on and off the court.”
With the ASUN suspending play until the spring, athletes are still itching to get out on the courts or fields. Many are still invested with the idea of playing next semester and competing for a championship.
“I would love to play, it’s my favorite thing to do,” said Vanliew. “It would be near impossible for me to opt-out, just because I love the game so much.”
“I’m sure the NCAA will have some sort of guidelines of what would be safe and healthy,” said McCue. “As long as each school is following that, I would have no hesitation to travel and have a full season.”