Dallas College spring athletics season uncertain

By HARRIET RAMOS

@HarrietRamosETC

Four days after announcing that all spring sports had been canceled, Dallas College administration is reconsidering its decision.

Vice Chancellor of Student Success Beatriz Joseph said today during a virtual meeting with student athletes and their parents that the administration will make a final decision no later than Friday.

“Information was shared prematurely,” she said. “We are reevaluating the situation and looking at options to make sure that you can continue to compete at the highest levels in a way that’s safe for all involved.”

Fred Clausen, the Dallas College athletic programs director, sent an email to all campus athletic directors on Jan. 15 informing them Dallas College administration had canceled the spring sports season “in the best interest of the health and welfare of our student athletes.”

“I had hoped that we would be able to make it through these times of COVID-19,” Clausen said. “But the uncertainty and conditions which change daily have made it extremely difficult for our administration to commit to moving ahead this spring.”

Today’s meeting was to give parents and students an opportunity to share feedback with the college leadership. Several parents voiced their frustration over the initial decision, questioning why college officials didn’t notify them sooner. Some parents said they already signed apartment leases and spent thousands of dollars so their children could live in the area and participate in Dallas College sports.

Students repeatedly said they felt like their season was being unfairly taken away from them. For sophomores, the spring season is their last chance to get noticed by a four-year college and have the opportunity to obtain scholarships to play at the university level.

Brookhaven sophomore baseball player Jonathan Boyer said he tried to transfer to another college when he heard the season was canceled but was unable to because it was so close to the beginning of the semester.

“These decisions literally determine the athletic and academic future of every single athlete that is involved in [Dallas College],” Boyer said in a blog post. “They are made by a faceless council, but they mean life or death for us.”

Joseph thanked the parents and students for their candor and said their concerns would be taken into consideration in the final decision.

“Rest assured, we are working diligently to have a resolution to this,” she said.

Other colleges and high schools in the area have continued with their sports season in spite of COVID-19. The National Junior College Athletic Association released a list of health and safety recommendations like regular temperature checks and frequent disinfecting of facilities and equipment to help protect players during the spring season.

Boyer said he could not understand the initial decision to cancel, considering the players had been very careful to follow safety protocols during practices.

“Athletes have taken the pandemic seriously from the beginning because we wanted so desperately to simply have a season,” he said.

Editor’s note: The Et Cetera will publish updates as more details become available.

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