The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 7 Out Now!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Springing Forward

Men%E2%80%99s+and+Women%E2%80%99s+basketball+are+hard+at+work+preparing+for+the+upcoming+season+openers+in+late+November.+Wofford+guard+Niyah+Lutz+%28pictured%29+shoots+a+jump+shot+during+practice.+Photo+by+Natalie+Aversano%2C+photographer.
Men’s and Women’s basketball are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season openers in late November. Wofford guard Niyah Lutz (pictured) shoots a jump shot during practice. Photo by Natalie Aversano, photographer.

An update on SoCon sports

As the Southern Conference releases schedules for the fall sports rescheduled to the spring, excitement and anticipation builds around the league as student-athletes await their opening games. Wofford football is currently set to open their season on Feb. 20 against Mercer at Gibbs Stadium, and according to SoCon Commissioner Jim Schaus, cross country has been approved to open their season on Nov. 21.

Regarding the decision to postpone most fall sports to the spring, Schaus said that the conference “really wanted to be intentional and take our time about making good decisions as a conference for our members.”

Schaus also said, however, that the greatest challenges for the SoCon are still ahead as the start of basketball season looms. Though teams across the country will play less games than usual overall, conference schedules remain the same as the men’s teams will play 18 conference games and the women’s teams will play 14.

Story continues below advertisement

“Basketball will be a challenge with the volume of games, smaller teams,” Schaus said. “If you have a positive test, the quarantining issue could impact a lot of your team if not your whole team.”

The conference is also working to develop and finalize COVID-19 protocols for each of the 10 member institutions to implement at their sporting events in order to achieve as much uniformity as possible across the conference.

The conference does anticipate having fans at games in the spring, but Schaus said that that decision “depends on each institution, which is really based on their immediate circumstances within their state, and also their local municipality—their county, their city.” 

The decision for Wofford in particular has not been announced yet, but it is in the process of being discussed within athletics. Spartanburg County currently lies just outside of the top 5 counties in South Carolina in terms of positive COVID-19 cases.

As for spring sports, those are currently scheduled to take place as normal—at least for now. However, league officials are aware that cancellations are a very real possibility and that the conference will have to adjust in the event that one occurs.

Away from the field of play, Schaus said that the displays of student-athlete engagement and activism have been “great” and that men’s and women’s student-athletes and coaches around the conference have inspired the creation of a racial equity and injustice task force. Fifteen members make up this task force, including personnel from all 10 member institutions that features student-athletes, coaches, campus administrators and athletic administrators.

“In the times that we’re in now,” Schaus said, “I believe that learning more, educating more, and talking about these things, not just with our student-athletes, but in all of our schools, is really helpful.”

As the countdown to the return of SoCon sports continues, so does the conversation about race and injustice not only in the country at large, but at Wofford as well. The long-awaited return to the field of play will likely provide yet another platform for student-athletes to use in their quest to affect change while also competing for a coveted SoCon championship.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal