NCAA winter sports fear delays to COVID-19 following winter break

College coaches prepare for delays after winter break

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - We’ve seen games get postponed or cancelled at every level of sports due to COVID-19 cases. And as NCAA winter sports gear up for their seasons beginning in January and hockey settles into their games, the week or so where athletes and coaches return home for the holidays in late December is a concern for programs.

“When everybody goes home around the nation, because that’s a division II rule, and they come back and test. Is our opponent going to come back negative? Are we going to come back negative? Will that first weekend really get off? I think that’s going to be really a tall tale to the entire season... If these young men want to have a season, they’re going to have to do whatever they can do to make sure they stay safe,” head coach of the Maverick men’s basketball team, Matt Margenthaler said.

Maverick men’s and women’s basketball teams are slated to return to the court at home against Bemidji State on January 2nd.

As for the WCHA, hockey teams are two weeks into their season and will wrap up competition for the holiday break on either the 12th or 19th depending on when games will be postponed for the men and Dec. 18 for the women.

“We’re still kind of making arrangements for that break, because the schedule says that we’re going to start up that weekend of well, the January 1st and 2nd weekend, it’ll probably be the 2nd and the 3rd, but then there’s certainly some testing that’s going to have to be done. There’s going to have to certainly be some practice time before we get back on the ice. So, as far as that time from the 18th or 19th of December until pretty quickly after Christmas we’ll see what we decide on that,” head coach of the Maverick women’s hockey team, John Harrington said.

“We have a couple internationals on our team and also from out of state. So, we’ll have to see what their, at that time, what the requirements are for them if they come back into Minnesota, whether from another state or another country,” Harrington said.

“I think the biggest thing for them, and our coaching staff, is just that we need to stay close to our own family bubbles and we have to mask, we have to wash our hands, we have to do the things that are going to keep us safe. And, understand that if one person comes back then we’re going to be shut down and so it’s a tough time,” Margenthaler said.

Only time will tell for these programs.

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