Big West cancels hope of fall sports playing this spring as COVID-19 cases surge


The Sundial file photo

Women’s volleyball is one of five CSUN fall sports that will not be playing this season due to COVID-19.

Mano Baghjajian, Assistant Sports Editor

The Big West Conference has announced the cancelation of Big West fall sports for the 2020-21 academic year.
“Protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes and following public health guidelines are our top priorities,” said Big West Commissioner Dan Butterly. “Despite a strong desire to return our fall sport student-athletes to competition, the Board unanimously agreed that the resources and protocols needed to safely and equitably conduct fall, winter and spring sports seasons concurrently was not in line with those priorities nor in the best interests of our student-athletes and coaches.”
In July, the Big West announced the postponement of all fall sports due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CSUN’s five fall sports — men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s indoor volleyball — seasons were put on indefinite hold until the spring, however this announcement changes those plans as they will not be played at all this season.
“This was a difficult decision, particularly in light of the significant sacrifices our staff, coaches, student-athletes and their families have already made in the interest of public health,” said Big West Board of Directors chair Howard Gillman. “While this decision is disappointing for many, the health and safety of Big West student-athletes, coaches, staff and the campus community continue to be the preeminent priorities for the CEO’s of the conference’s 11 institutions.”
This announcement does not affect the current status of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons given that they are a winter sport. Furthermore, men’s basketball is currently the only sport that is being played at CSUN.
Basketball is currently in the midst of their non-conference schedules and are planning on beginning conference play on Dec. 27. However, two of the Matadors’ next three games have either been cancelled or postponed due to COVID concerns.
The Big West Board said they will make a decision about spring sports late January 2021 depending on the pandemic.
The United States is on the verge of having 300,000 COVID-19 deaths, as the country simultaneously sets a new single day record of over 3,000 deaths on Dec. 9.