On Saturday we reported concerning the College of Michigan’s transfer to stop all athletic-related activities for two weeks. Since then, a “Coalition of Scholar-Athletes” have issued a letter to the College asking to rethink this transfer; an online petition has been created as effectively.
Within the letter the athletes acknowledge the severity and seriousness of the state of affairs [5 confirmed cases of the new B.1.1.7 coronavirus strain] and query why this choice is coming from the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Companies quite than the college itself. The athletes acknowledge that they’ve executed all the pieces they’ll with a purpose to forestall the unfold of the virus. They provide options equivalent to addressing the instances on a team-by-team foundation and state that placing wholesome college students in additional quarantine is pointless and unfair. The coalition suggests that this choice will have an effect on each the bodily and psychological well being of the student-athletes.
For the reason that coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, there was a pattern of student-athletes and fogeys placing stress on faculties and conferences to reexamine choices concerning the coronavirus. The Large Ten initially canceled their fall soccer season in August. The convention reversed course in September amid outcry from mother and father and athletes. The convention decided that they might proceed with the soccer season whereas conducting testing and monitoring pupil well being in a correct and protected approach.
A number of members of the Michigan swimming & diving staff shared each the open letter and petition on social media, highlighted by Head Coach Mike Bottom and World Champion swimmer Maggie MacNeil. Moreover, a person signed the identify “Mike Bottom” to the web petition and commented about the situation:
“The scholar athletes check ever [sic] day or each different day. They’re clear and but nonetheless quarantine. Not solely are they not capable of pursue their sports activities however not capable of stroll free to pursue their tutorial targets…. How is that this not a violation of their civil rights?”
Because of the shutdown imposed on Michigan athletics, the lads’s and ladies’s swimming & diving groups have needed to cancel their meets on Saturday towards Large Ten rival Ohio State. Girls’s Water Polo was scheduled to journey to Arizona State subsequent week for a four-day slate and that journey has since been canceled.
Each the ladies’s Large Ten Swimming Championship and the ladies’s Large Ten Diving Championship are scheduled to begin on February 24th. Assuming no change in Michigan’s choice, the ladies’s swimming & diving staff will have the ability to return to the water on February 7, giving the staff somewhat over two weeks of pool coaching earlier than the Large Ten meet.
The scholar-athletes on the College of Michigan acknowledge the severity of the continued COVID-19 pandemic and have executed all the pieces in our management to stop the unfold of this virus to the perfect of our capability. Lately, 5 confirmed instances of the B.1.1.7 pressure have been discovered within the athletic division, which has triggered a shutdown of all athletic-related exercise and the closure of all athletic amenities by the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Companies together with the Washtenaw County Well being Division. Whereas we, the student-athletes on the College of Michigan, perceive the severity of this virus and take it very critically, we imagine that this mandate from the MDHHS is pointless and shouldn’t solely be reconsidered, however overturned.
We belief the steerage and management of these in command of the well being and security of Michigan student-athletes. Given the College’s data of the state of affairs surrounding the athletic division, ought to a complete shutdown have been vital, it ought to have come from the College of Michigan leaders. Being members of each the Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County communities is one thing that the student-athletes on the College of Michigan worth and cherish. We now have executed all the pieces to mitigate the unfold of COVID-19 to the larger neighborhood at giant, with a purpose to shield those that help us. The scholar-athletes on the College of Michigan have executed their greatest to create social bubbles with a purpose to restrict publicity and have opted in for in depth testing protocols with a purpose to compete within the most secure method potential. The bodily and psychological well being of each Michigan student-athlete is in danger as a result of latest mandate set in place.
Based mostly on the division’s testing insurance policies, inserting wholesome college students in quarantine is pointless and extreme. Putting everything of student-athletes in a mandated quarantine, as an alternative of working it on a staff by staff foundation, is unfair to the athletes who’ve adopted all protocols essential to compete and have had no contact with the confirmed instances. These student-athletes have gone above and past with a purpose to earn the appropriate to have a season within the midst of a pandemic. We imagine that it’s merely illogical to mandate a quarantine for the student-athletes provided that at this level there aren’t any further really useful mitigation methods exterior of what athletes have already been in compliance with (masking up, social distancing, interior bubbles, and many others.). The scholar-athletes on the College of Michigan stand united in stopping the unfold of COVID-19 and maintaining each member of our neighborhood protected. We’re asking the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Companies to rethink the blanket shutdown applied on January 24th, and permit all of the student-athletes which might be wholesome to return to all athletic-related actions.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Coalition of Scholar-Athletes