Student-athletes facing hidden dangers during season

Student-athletes at Quincy University have been trying to navigate through the school year during these tough times they have never witnessed before with their mental and physical health being at stake.

According to the NCAA Student-Athlete COVID-19 Well-Being Survey, respondents noted academic worries (43%), lack of access to sport (33%), COVID-19 health concerns (31%), and financial worries (24%) as the top factors negatively impacting their mental health.

Since the start of the fall 2020 term, 37% of student-athletes reported having to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-related symptoms, exposure, or campus outbreak.

“I would say it made me wonder if we’ll actually have seasons in the future, and is the experience going to be the same with the fans atmosphere,” Paul Sullivan, football player, said.

Sullivan has been a member of the QU football team for three years before this school year and he is now a senior and despite the pandemic, he remains optimistic about the upcoming football season.

All student-athletes at QU have been undergoing multiple rounds of COVID-19 testing and students say it’s not a pleasant feeling.

“As funny as it sounds, I would say it really feels like someone is digging in your nose,” Charles Callier, basketball player, said.

Callier went on to mention with the pandemic going on and interfering with his senior season, it has challenged his mental health more than anything.

QU President Brian McGee, reported earlier this semester there are currently no known COVID-19 infections on campus for QU students. There have been no reports of students in quarantine on the QU campus.

A few students have reported COVID-19 related type symptoms, but none have yet been reported as tested positive in the latest reports.

The men’s basketball team was forced to postpone a match against an opponent on the road last month due to one of the opponent’s team members falling ill and testing positive. Whenever that happens during the season, the school just looks to reschedule that match at a safer time.

Last semester, the basketball team had to serve a few quarantine periods due to players from QU feeling COVID-19 related symptoms earlier in the year.

However, the team has been able to bounce back after serving their quarantine periods and have not had any new confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Student-athletes will be able to get a year of eligibility back and this year will go down as a dead year not counting towards any player.

Junior transfer guard Jamaurie Coakley of the men’s basketball team has not been letting this pandemic get in the way of what he and his teammates have been trying to achieve as they have been fighting for a spot in the upcoming GLVC tourney later this month.

Coakley weighed in on this topic and what his mindset is moving forward during this season.

“Lately I have been going to the gym at night to get shots up with some of my teammates to make sure I’m staying fit and ready to compete at all times,” Coakley said. “Eating healthy and drinking a lot of water has been a main priority for me both on and off the court.”

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