Indiana State’s baseball, softball and golf teams saw their seasons cut short with the advent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., while the track and field outdoor season was canceled along with the women’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
The MVC Presidents Council made the decision March 13 with the well-being and safety of its student-athletes, administrators, coaches, media and fans in mind, ISU Athletics announced in a press release. Also, the NCAA canceled its 2020 winter and spring championships including March Madness, the nickname for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
For athletes who were disappointed by losing out on their final seasons, the NCAA also provided some eligibility relief on March 30 by allowing schools to provide spring-sport athletes with an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.
“The 2019-20 season has unfortunately come to an abrupt end,” ISU Athletic Director Sherard Clinkscales said on March 20 in a letter posted on gosycamores.com. “The specter of COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. It has brought a new consciousness in terms of how we live our lives and communicate with each other. It has taken away arguably our most sought after outlet — sport.”
ISU Athletics also canceled previously planned alumni weekends for spring sports and youth camps, postponed the Ladies Tee Golf Outing and Football Golf Scramble until further notice.
“Our hearts go out to our student-athletes, especially our seniors,” Clinkscales said in the letter. “Our student-athletes pour their hearts and souls into competing for this university and the circumstances presented preclude them from making this a reality at the moment. It is of utmost importance to preserve the health and wellbeing of our student-athletes, coaches, fans and entire university community.”
Clinkscales also thanked student-athletes, coaches and staff, fans and donors, sponsors and the university’s leadership.
“As Provost Dr. Mike Licari said, this is not the new normal. It is a temporary, if significant, departure from business-as-usual,” he said. “As we navigate these uncharted waters, we will work in lock step with President Curtis and the university leadership team in doing what is best for our University Community. We are one united strong Sycamore family.”
During the pandemic, ISU athletics continued its tradition of community service by announcing on April 8 a new initiative called Sycamore Athletics Meals for Heroes in conjunction with 7th and Elm Bar and Grille and the Union Hospital Group called Meals for Heroes. In coordination with online ticket partner, Fevo, Sycamore fans could donate meals to local health care workers for $10.