Four campus sports headlines to watch
We ask one writer and one hanger-on what they think
Do you think we will have in-person events at all this season on campus?
IT: Talking with campus staff, they said that the decision to have a season for winter sports like basketball, hockey, swimming, track & field and volleyball will be made by Oct. 8. With the decision to send K-12 students back to school in the fall we could very well see another wave of COVID show up in September. If that does happen, I think it’ll be unlikely to see in-person events at all this season.
JL: I highly doubt we will see any Cougars sports this season. If the leagues with millions of dollars are having outbreaks – looking at you, baseball – I don’t see how leagues that claims to give a shit about athlete health, like U Sports, can hope to have even a little bit of security for their members.
How do you feel about the fact there is still no doctor’s office on campus?
JL: I think it’s absolutely absurd that we don’t have a medical office on our campus. We are the only university of our size to not have medical facilities. The KHS faculty’s reasoning – to create a student-centred approach led by faculty and students – would be great . . . if it had actually materialized. Regardless of the circumstances of the clinic’s departure, the fact that the dean has told this newspaper, “There won’t be any physicians on campus, but in large part nurse practitioners can handle most things that physicians are able to deal with, particularly with this population. Our students are generally healthy individuals, they’re not typically sick or aging, and that sort of thing,” is an embarrassment to our campus. That article, by the way, was from last November.
IT: In light of COVID, having a doctor’s office on campus might not be a good thing. Any COVID-like cases should be handled at a hospital where they have the proper safety protocols and equipment. If we had a doctor’s office on campus my only concern would be sick people showing up at the university to see the doctor, potentially getting other university-goers sick in the process.
How do you feel about losing access to gym facilities on campus for the foreseeable future?
IT: I think it’s strange that a lot of off-campus gym facilities have been reopening with special precautions and protocols in place, but the university can’t do the same. I know the convenience of using facilities at the U of R was really important for a lot of students, so I’m not sure why the university isn’t offering some kind of opt-in for modified gym facilities.
JL: If I can’t trust dudebros to not drop their weights and grunt louder than any tennis player alive or dead then I don’t think I trust them to wear a mask. Enforcement is always an issue and our campus can’t enforce consequences for plagiarism by its own faculty – don’t worry, engineering won’t read this section – let alone the health and safety of its students
Do you think this shut down could harm the Cougars and Rams long-term? If so, how?
JL: No season means no revenue, but it also means no recognition. The Rams are partially funded by sponsors, so I think their upcoming seasons could take a hit. If there ever was a time to cut the hockey teams loose, particularly the perpetually losing men’s team, now would be the time. Better than cutting a wrestling team on short notice and causing an angry exodus. We’re already seeing shutdowns at smaller campuses – like the University of Alberta-Augustana, so I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to see some teams take a cut or suspend operations until next season.
IT: I think that the university has shown great resilience in the past and I don’t think this shut down will harm the Cougars and Rams long-term. The important thing is to ensure that athletes, coaches, and spectators all remain healthy, and we’ll just hope sports will be back up and running safely as soon as possible.