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BLOG: COVID-19 Impact on Student Athletes

by Titan Universe
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While CSUF finishes the semester online, Titan Comms interns are writing first-person blog posts to document this unique experience. This blog is only intended to share a student experience. While shelter at home orders remain in place, please stay home.

The coronavirus has not only affected the way students are now going to be finishing off the rest of their semester, but impacted student-athletes forever. On March 12, the Big West along with many other Universities and Ivy league schools all over the country were suspending all their spring conference and non-conference competition. Never did we think it would happen to our track and field program. We went on about our day, although we did feel things were only beginning to get worse.

Just as we were two days out from hosting our annual track and field Ben Brown invitational meet, we received news that our season had been suspended indefinitely. The following day, March 13, early in the morning, the Big West announced that due to the NCAA canceling their championship events they came to a decision to cancel all spring sports for the rest of the 2020 season. Many of us being seniors were very devastated with the news because it would be our last season competing in a blue and orange uniform. This was something that had never happened in the history of sports, so no one knew how to control the chaos or what to expect next. Everyone, including the coaches, was just left in the dark without any information on what was to come next. 

On March 13, The NCAA also announced they “agree eligibility relief is appropriate for spring sports” meaning they were going to give everyone back the season that was canceled due to this pandemic. They’re many questions that have not yet been answered after the NCAA board decided to make that decision. This put many seniors like myself in a hole because we are supposed to graduate at the end of the Spring semester. Many of us already have plans for after college – whether that is pursuing our sport at a higher level or doing something in our major’s field. Within a span of two days, things began to change drastically by the minute. 

Some of my teammates and I were not ready to throw away all our fitness to the trash and not do anything about it. We decided to keep training because we thought eventually a meet would turn up and we would be ready to compete. But as news continued to come out, we realized that probably won’t happen any time soon. Over time, our group went down to a size of six to seven – we had originally started with about twenty people. Since every facility on campus was being closed we began to find our own ways to continue our training at home.

One of my main training partners and I came up with the idea of creating our own club. We had always wanted to do, but this specific scenario just forced us to go ahead and pursue it. We started coming up with a logo and a philosophy that would match the team we wanted to create. We came up with a name and it came out to be “Titan Elite Track Club”. It has now been put on freeze for the time being due to the NCAA’s decision to give back a season of eligibility. If an athlete was to compete under the club name, their eligibility would also be put at risk. On March 24, the Olympic Committee announced that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed to 2021. It looks like we won’t be training for anything this Spring season, but it was worth the try. For some of us seniors, we are patiently waiting for our options to possibly return and compete the following year. We may also decide to pursue the club route, and with the right training, we may have a chance to qualify for the Olympic trials.

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