Dorm student-athletes have added stress, wondering when, or if, season will happen

By Bailey Pennycuff / Co-Sports Editor

Being on campus during the notorious COVID-19 pandemic is a bit shell-shocking to some student-athletes. However, not all are affected so negatively. 

The Residence Life staff is requiring every person who enters the dorms to wear a mask or facial covering. Additional guidelines include limitations of occupancy in dorm rooms, the Residential Life office, and even laundry rooms.

“I personally have not been stressed out about living in the dorms because of COVID,” freshman softball player Madison Grimes said. “Haven’t really stressed about anything yet this semester, honestly.”

Other student-athletes are not particularly stressed about COVID, but scared for what might happen if the pandemic worsens.

“I wasn’t necessarily stressed by COVID, more so the opportunities that it has closed or the opportunities that have the potential to close. I’m just focused on moving on,” sophomore football player Kingsley Ugwu said.

Years prior to the invasion of the novel coronavirus, the dorms were a place to hang out with friends whenever they wanted, where countless memories were made, and somewhere for students to have abundant freedom. While it’s still possible for memories to be made, they are encouraged to be made from six feet apart.

“People inside the dorms are pretty good about social distancing. For the most part, people have been wearing masks, but once the ResLife staff leaves at five, the masks aren’t near as common,” Grimes said. “It’s like people think Covid is impossible to contract when you go outside. Almost every night, tons of people are outside the dorms just chilling without masks.”

As a Resident’s Assistant, Ugwu sees residents a little differently when considering the rules.

“They haven’t really made much of a difference, but there are the select few who wear masks and do what they are supposed to. It’s not really hard, just tedious,” Ugwu said.

Some residents spend little time at the dorms because they feel unsafe due to COVID-19, while others feel the opposite.

“I feel safer in my room at the dorms than I do anywhere else. I know how clean it is, and it’s more in my control,” Ugwu said.

Being an athlete means a whole other aspect is thrown into the crazy mix of responsibilities, even more so with the Coronavirus.

“We have to get our temperatures checked in the training room literally every day before practice. Sure, it’s a hassle but it’s a rule that every team has to follow,” Grimes said.

While some rules, such as the last example, are set by college athletic administrators, other rules have been given to the athletes straight from their coaches.

“Coach (Jaime) Rose has made it clear to us that we need to be smart. Certain members of our team are at higher risk of harsh symptoms of COVID, so we shouldn’t go out to huge parties or anything like that,” Grimes said.

Some athletes have also been worried about their futures because of the pandemic.

“Since our season is so messed up with everything getting moved around, my recruiting process has been slowed down a great deal,” Ugwu said.

Regardless of the precautions being taken, many students believe the school and dorms will be shut down before Thanksgiving break.

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