University of Bahamas (UB) Athletics Director Kimberley Rolle
University of The Bahamas’ (UB) Athletics Director Kimberley Rolle has revealed that their sports teams likely won’t get to travel this fall, given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been in contact with many of the institutions that we have made arrangements with to compete over the summer and a lot of them are really in flux. They do not know what their seasons are going to look like, and if they have seasons, those are going to be shortened seasons. What a lot of them have indicated to us is that they are staying in state to play versus taking on international competition or going out of state for competition,” Rolle said.
The teams that are expected to be affected the most are the men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams that usually travel in August and September. Those teams normally travel to different parts of Florida for games when they compete against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams.
This month, the state of Florida has seen a significant spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. On Saturday past, alone, Florida had a single-day record of 5,535 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
“For us, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators are paramount,” Rolle said. “We are not going to do anything that would put them in harm’s way. For the fall, we are looking at just locally because of the health and safety risks that are so high at this time. We are looking to return to campus for physical engagement of student-athletes sometime in July.”
Back in March, the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) was forced to suspend its season during the playoffs because of the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. That stoppage meant that the UB Mingoes men’s basketball playoff run was halted. The men’s soccer team’s season in the Bahamas Men’s Soccer League was also put on hold. The track and field teams also saw their season cut short. Then, there was the Mingoes women’s softball team that was set to start its season in the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA).
Rolle said it is too early to determine if they should cancel sports altogether this fall.
Several athletes are on athletic scholarships. Rolle stated that those student-athletes, whom they are committed to, will not be affected by the lull in organized sports activities, as the university will hold up its end of the deal.
There is no restart dates for the local sporting leagues that had their seasons suspended, as the Government of The Bahamas has not given the green light to resume sporting activities as yet.