The COVID-19 pandemic has had our society in a chokehold for the last six months as the United States continues to combat the coronavirus. To go along with the lockdowns and slow reopening process, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the sports world, particularly college sports. However, Saint Bonaventure University has added a glimpse of hope that we may see some sports action, particularly basketball this winter.
The university required athletic staff, as well as student-athletes, to get a PCR molecular COVID-19 test before returning to the nation’s first Franciscan university, which is located on the outskirts of Olean, New York. During the first round of arrivals, which consisted of hoops players and staff members, 50 people were tested and zero positive results were obtained. On the process of the safe reopening, the school said “After a recommended 14 days of physical distancing and a negative COVID-19 test prior to leaving their hometowns, followed by a second round of COVID-19 testing and physical exams on campus, student-athletes have returned to voluntary basketball activities.
Members of the men’s basketball team began arriving on campus July 18 while the majority of the women’s basketball team arrived on campus July 25. The rest of St. Bonaventure’s Division I student-athletes will begin arriving on campus in August.
Student-athletes were permitted to return to voluntary activity once passing a physical and receiving two negative test results for COVID-19. Thus far, all student-athletes and staff currently on campus have received negative test results through testing administered by the Cattaraugus County Health Department. Results of the initial on-campus COVID-19 testing are below:
Staff working directly with student-athletes: Total tested: 27; Positive: 0
Student-athletes: Total tested: 23; Positive: 0
Cumulative: Total Tested: 50; Positive: 0.”
Although things are looking okay for a possible season of competition in the winter months, it is unclear if there will be fans in the stands to witness the intense road to the NCAA Basketball Final Four. In an article for Mike Hogan from TAP Into Greater Olean Associate Athletic Director For Athletic Communications at Saint Bonaventure, Scott Eddy told Mike Hogan the university has several scenarios manufactured.
Eddy did not offer specifics on the scenarios, but he said, ‘“At this time they are all hypothetical.” “Our staff has been looking at these potential scenarios since March, and we will be prepared whatever the situation may be. St. Bonaventure will not make a public plan for attendance until after the state tells us what is permitted.”
Although things are up in the air, NGSC Sports will stay attached to the carousel and keep you posted on the ride leading up to tip-off.