The spring season for American Athletic Conference athletics is officially over.
The American had previously suspended competition until further notice. But it announced this afternoon that all spring-sport competition — baseball, softball, tennis, golf, rowing, track and field, etc. — is done for the year. Practices by any team have been stopped as well.
The official statement read, “The American Athletic Conference announced today that all athletic competition and championships have been canceled for the remainder of the academic year.
“In addition, all American institutions have ceased practicing.”
All athletic competition and championships have been canceled for the remainder of the academic year.— The American (@American_Conf) March 16, 2020
In addition, all American institutions have ceased practicing. pic.twitter.com/Yq2m6YX57x
UCF Athletics also annouced that the football team’s spring game, originally scheduled for April 4, has been postponed indefinitely.
The @American_Conf announced today that all athletic competition and championships have been canceled for the remainder of the academic year.— UCF Knights (@UCFKnights) March 16, 2020
: https://t.co/fgkgx2DLoO pic.twitter.com/VkHYVoCGPa
This announcement has been in the making for a couple of reasons.
One, this precedent had been set. Conferences such as the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and others have already shuttered their spring sports through the academic year, including those sports that play beyond the end of the academic year — i.e. baseball. You knew that the American, which was the first major conference to cancel its men’s basketball tournament last week, would follow suit at some point.
Secondly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Sunday that organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people throughout the United States for the next eight weeks.
When you count only players, coaches, trainers, officials and any necessary event staff, what sporting competition can honestly be held within that constraint? Eight weeks from now takes us into mid-May. Just in terms of what that means for UCF, that time span covers the regular season of any spring sport offered.
Here are the final records of UCF’s spring-sport programs:
Baseball: 15-3, ranked No. 12 in the nation
Softball: 21-5-1, ranked No. 22 in the nation
Women’s tennis: 10-3, ranked No. 20 in the nation
Men’s tennis: 10-3, ranked No. 22 in the nation
Women’s golf: finished tied for sixth and ninth in its two tournaments this year
Men’s golf: Finished 14th and 11th in its two tournaments this year
Rowing: won all seven events during the Metro Cup on Lake Maitland earlier this month
Track and Field: N/A, outdoor season was scheduled to begin this week
So, that’s it. At this point, I think the next UCF sports event we have to look forward to is the beginning of football training camp in late July or early August — assuming this pandemic has quelled by then, which is uncertain.
The next team-versus-team competition involving UCF will probably be a soccer or volleyball match in August.
We here at Black and Gold Banneret will continue writing about UCF Knights athletics, and we have some fun ideas planned for our upcoming podcasts.
But as far as the games, matches and meets are concerned, those are done for at least the next five months.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.