By Adam Gorski, Sports Layout Editor
The Canisius College women’s basketball team has made the decision to cancel the remainder of their 2020-21 season, citing health and safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in a release from the athletic department on Thursday.
The Griffs have not played since Dec. 20 against Saint Peter’s and have had games postponed and rescheduled all season. Due to their current pause, they would not have been able to return to action until Feb. 18.
“The women in our program discussed the challenges of this most recent pause and made the difficult choice to end their competitive season,” Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher said in a statement. “The administration at the College supports their decision, as we have supported the choices made by all student-athletes at Canisius during this unprecedented time. Canisius will maintain its current schedule of competition in other sports and will continue to observe our rigorous health and safety protocols, which include regular testing for all student-athletes, based on guidance from Erie County, New York State and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.”
Non-Covid-19 injuries have also plagued the roster and has resulted in the team being unable to compete and practice safely.
“Coming to this decision has been a difficult process, but one that we all found to be in the best interest of our student-athletes,” Canisius head women’s basketball coach Scott Hemer said in a statement. “The women in our program did their best to remain diligent with the difficult Covid-19 protocols that we have in place, but quarantines and injuries were taking a toll on all of us. After listening to the team discuss how the constant uncertainty and endless unknowns have affected each individual member, we realized that this was creating a significant amount of stress and anxiety. I am proud of the resiliency that our players have demonstrated since they returned to campus in August. As is always the case, our staff is focused on the health and safety of our student-athletes. Although disappointing, we believe this decision is the best for all parties involved.” The Griffs become the 11th Division I women’s team to opt out of their season amidst the pandemic, as well as the first team in the MAAC to do so. They end the season winless, finishing 0-5 overall and 0-4 in conference play.