Spring sports’ seasons postponed due to pandemic


Hill Air Force Base

Utah Jazz player, Rudy Golbert, playing in a scrimmage at the Warrior Fitness Center

Mark Gidden, Sports Editor

The world has been hit with a pandemic, putting several sporting events in a bad position by either postponing games and events, or even going as far as cancelling entire seasons. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a highly contagious disease that can and has killed thousands of people all over the world and so far, has no cure. The virus originated in Wuhan, China and it can be contracted when a non-infected person comes in contact with a surface that contains respiratory droplets, from coughing or sneezing, that contain the virus. It also can be contracted via close contact with others, within six feet according to the Centers of Disease and Control (CDC), which is why the highly contagious nature of the virus is especially dangerous for sports, where not only players are in close contact on the field, but fans are in close contact in the stands.

The coronavirus infected many athletes a couple months after the it entered the United States. The first National Basketball Association (NBA) athlete to test positive for the virus was Rudy Golbert for the Utah Jazz. Golbert is a former defensive player of the year and center for the Jazz. Speculation as to how he contracted the virus is by not taking the virus and social distancing (avoiding large gatherings of people and staying at least six feet apart) seriously. Putting himself at risk of infection, Golbert would make jokes by touching all of his teammates and even touching all the mics at a post-game press conference. His teammate Donavan Mitchell, an All-star guard for the Jazz tested positive for COVID-19 and was unpleased with Golbert for potentially giving him the virus and not taking the situation seriously. After these events occurred, the NBA season was cancelled including the playoffs and other sporting events such as March Madness, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship tournament.

Before March Madness was cancelled, notably the NCAA’s top two basketball teams Duke and Kansas City, dropped out to prevent their players from becoming sick. After they dropped out, other teams followed in their footsteps, driving the NCAA to cancel the tournament.

The virus can last in a human’s system for up to two weeks and the Utah Jazz played five teams in that time span; the New York Knicks, the Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. Not every player contracted the virus from those teams but Marcus Smart from the Celtics as well as Christian Wood from the Pistons contracted the virus.

Another NBA player who tested positive for the virus was All-star and two-time champion Kevin Durant for the Brooklyn Nets. However, Durant has been out of season, so it is most likely that he contracted the virus from public and not the NBA.

Another season that was cancelled was a new semi-professional football league called the XFL, where players who did not attend college or did not make the National Football League (NFL), can still play football as a career.

As for baseball, Major League Baseball (MLB) has postponed its season indefinitely, due to the coronavirus. The league’s opening day, March 26, as of right now is delayed by two weeks. But as more and more people across the country are diagnosed, the two-week delay could be longer, as many states have issued stay-at-home orders that go well into April. According to The New York Times, this coronavirus is the biggest disruption to the MLB schedule in 25 years. The MLB plans to have a season this year, if conditions with the spread of the virus permit. They will either have a full season 162 games, or a shorter modified season where all teams play in less games.

Hockey fans may be disappointed to also hear that this season of the NHL is “on pause” as of now. While it is unreleased who tested positive, it has been released that a player on the Ottawa Senators have tested positive for COVID-19. Multiple athletes from around the world have donated in support of COVID-19 relief, totaling millions collected worldwide.

In other effects of this pandemic, for the first time ever, the 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed until 2021, as it was deemed irresponsible for so many to gather in one place.

Locally, the virus has affected sporting events for high school games such as the basketball state tournament. Creek opponent, Dickinson, made it to the state championship tournament, but the game was postponed due the virus. Other high school spring sports such as baseball, softball, track, tennis, soccer and golf, have all had a to put their seasons on hold.

While the fate of the 2020 sports year may seem grim, this brief pause in many sports seasons will allow players to focus on family, and their craft, improving as a team and insuring a thrilling 2021 season.