Cancellation of spring athletics affecting more than just athletes

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Cody Shaw was an athletic trainer at Pearl River Community College as the rumors started to swirl that athletic activities were in danger of being suspended, or at worst canceled due to COVID-19.

At the time, Shaw had been going about his normal routines of checking in with athletes who were in physical therapy, working in the training room and attending team practices in case of an injury.

Shaw said he never thought the seasons would be put on hold due to the Coronavirus, but as things got more serious the decision finally came down from the NJCAA to cancel spring athletics.

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“I didn’t think that was a possibility. When I got on the NJCAA website it really hit me that it’s affecting us, our daily lives and what we do,” Shaw said.

A lot of athletes have returned home and Shaw said there were still conversations taking place between the athletes and trainers to make sure everything was on track.

Athletes were able to find nearby physical therapy centers to continue treatments away from campus.

“Luckily we didn’t have any major injuries that we had to make sure they kept going (to treatment for) as far as being in the training room. (Some athletes) got a week of rest and started grinding to just stay in the game,” Shaw said.

Responsibilities for health professionals have changed as the pandemic continues across the United States and Shaw was no different. Athletic trainers across the country are selflessly volunteering their services to fight the pandemic.

“That was probably one of the biggest jobs, they were on the front lines of this screening patients and employees coming into hospital,” Shaw said.

Shaw and fellow PRCC athletic trainer Brandy Maulden found themselves in a similar role.

As students came back from spring break some returned to PRCC’s campus.

Returning students were then screened by Maulden and Shaw to see if they exhibited symptoms of the virus.

Uncertainty abounds for athletic trainers like Shaw with sports cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

However, when athletic activties do start up again Shaw said there are likely to be some changes in protocols.

Not necessarily with normal sports injuries, but when athletes begin exhibiting symptoms of something new steps may be put in place. “I believe any type of general med (protocols) with sicknesses from pink eye to asthma (will change). Instead of letting them go to a dorm and wait it out there may be protocols to get them tested to make sure there isn’t still a virus out there,” Shaw said.