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The Fear of the Return for College Athletes

What makes us scared?


Is it the fear of the unknown? The fear of not being in control or simply, is it the fear of life itself?

For the last handful of months, the landscape of our nation has lived in a state of trepidation as a global pandemic has reared its ugly head, killing thousands and affected millions. But what happens when it comes time to return? What happens when we are forced to dust off our shoulders and act like everything is okay?

I sat down with some local college athletes to discuss the fear that comes with returning to the sports they love.


Huskies’ Football

The first athlete I talked to was Jordan Morrison. Morrison, a linebacker for the University of Connecticut football program, spoke about returning to play in the fall.

“They’ve [UCONN’s football coaches] told us athletes to come back in the fall ready to work.” Morrison conversed. “However, we should be ready for the change that COVID caused. Pretty much to be flexible with everything that’s going on. There’s a lot of guidelines and restrictions that are put in place to protect everyone from catching the virus.”

One major concern of Morrison’s where visiting opponents may be coming from in terms of COVID-19 hotspots.

“Seeing a team we face go through an outbreak is really concerning to me.” quavered Morrison. “It’s a virus where a patient can show symptoms, or be asymptomatic, so you never truly know who has it.”

While gyms may be closed, Morrison has done plenty to stay in game shape, stating “I’ve been making sure to go on runs, head out to the fields and lift as much as I can. Although gyms aren’t open and you are restricted to a few weights or bands, you gotta make the best of it. I feel as if I did a good job of working with what I got.”

Morrison concluded his conversation with me by saying confidently, “There will be a 2020 season depending on how the next few weeks go.”


The Huskies are set to switch from the AAC to the Big East conference this upcoming 2020-21 season.


The coronavirus’ impact can be felt just as strong from the college athletes in AAC to those in the MAAC.

“I selfishly want collegiate sports to be played because I want to play my senior season, but if it is necessary to cancel the season in order to keep people safe, then I fully understand and respect the decision.” said Taner Bay, a Senior Midfielder for Rider University soccer team.

Bay, who has made All-Academic Team honors during the past two seasons for the MAAC, explained the impact the coronavirus has played on his life.

“The coronavirus has made working out and playing the sport I love a lot tougher, as these are things I would normally do in groups with other people who share the same passion as me.” lamented Bay.

“Coronavirus has made me more aware of things going on in the world and has allowed to me focus on myself to take the time I need… Everyone seems to always be busy, whether at school or at home for the summer, with constant plans and things to do, but with the coronavirus a lot of those plans were taken away and left people with more time to reflect and think.”


In a world that is currently filled with fear, I think we can all reflect on Bay’s words and learn to appreciate the small things in life and never take anything for granted.


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Peter Snyder is an Intern sportswriter who covers collegiate athletics as well as professional sports.
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