CSUN women’s basketball team will not participate in 2020-21 season


Daniel Escobar

CSUN women’s basketball team will not be participating in the 2020-21 season due to a lack of players after six players opted out.

Mano Baghjajian, Assistant Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team will not participate in the upcoming 2020-21 season, CSUN Athletics announced on Thursday afternoon. This decision comes after six athletes, or half the team, opted-out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. The opt-outs resulted in the team not being able to field enough players to compete.

“Student-athlete safety will always be our priority,” CSUN athletic director Mike Izzi said. “Given the number of students that have voluntarily elected to opt-out of competition this year, our women’s basketball team will not be able to have a healthy and safe opportunity to compete this season. There is no question that supporting the welfare of student-athletes is what drives us, making our direction clear.”

Out of the 12 players that began preseason training camp with the team, six players decided to opt-out of playing, leaving only six active players available.

In a joint statement, players expressed their reasoning for the decision, citing potential health concerns due to the wear and tear of a college basketball season. With only six players playing, the remaining players will experience more fatigue and wear and tear issues, which would increase the likelihood of injuries occurring.

“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our team and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” said interim head coach Lindsey Foster. “As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, our staff will continue to find creative and safe ways to develop our players. We are united in this approach and we will use this time to get ready for the 2021-22 season.”

Last month, the NCAA voted toward allowing winter athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Winter college athletes will be able to play next season with the same amount of remaining eligibility they would have had this season.

CSUN athletics has stated that all scholarships will be honored and all athletes will be able to access support services made available to them by the NCAA.