It was not the type of Zoom meeting King’s College men’s basketball coach J.P. Andrejko had hoped to have with his team Thursday afternoon.
Rather than talking to the Monarchs about preparing for the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom League season, he had to inform them there would not be a season.
On Thursday, King’s College announced it would not have having a winter sports season.
The Rev. John J. Ryan C.S.C., Ph.D. made the announcement, citing “the continual and growing challenges presented by COVID-19, and with the health and safety of our students, staff, and partners as our top priority, King’s College will not participate in winter sports competition in the coming months.”
The decision impacts men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, indoor track and field, swimming and wrestling.
“It was definitely not a decision taken lightly and there have been many discussions over the last several weeks and month,” King’s College athletic director Cheryl Ish said. “The virus is not any better now, and in many cases it is worse than it was in the fall.”
On Dec. 2, the Middle Atlantic Conference indicated it was targeting a conference-only basketball schedule to begin no earlier than mid-February. The swimming season is slated to start in early March, while the indoor track and field championships and the wrestling championships are going to be canceled.
“We worked hard to put things in place to make it work,” Ish said. “It was all contingent on the landscape of the virus at the time. It is worse now. We know how incredibly tough this is for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
Ish met with the winter sports coaches Wednesday afternoon, letting them know of the decision. The coaches then scheduled Zoom calls with their respective teams Thursday afternoon, just prior to the college’s announcement.
“I feel bad for our seniors, it is difficult in your senior year not to have a season,” Andrejko said. “I also feel badly for the freshmen. To go through the recruiting process and coming to King’s, a big part of it was to play basketball. Now they don’t have an opportunity to have a college season. The other guys know what it is like to go through a college season, and the freshmen still don’t know what that is like.”
Steve Bennett is a sports writer at The Citizens’ Voice. He began his career as a full-time writer in 1997. He has received a first-place award for three consecutive years from the Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of high school football. Bennett is a graduate of Bishop O’Reilly High School and received his college degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, 570 821-2062 and @CVSteveBennett on Twitter.