BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — With the news on Tuesday that Cal State Universities will remain primarily online this fall, it left a big question mark for how and when those sports teams will ever make a return. Cal State Bakersfield falls into that category and Director of Athletics Kenneth Siegfried echoed the uncertainty for the return of sports on campus although hopeful.
"Nobody, including those making the announcements knows what fall sports are going to look like," Kenneth “Ziggy” Siegfried, CSUB Director of Athletics said.
One thing that is clear is that as long as students aren’t allowed on campus, teams won’t be allowed either.
"That does make it difficult because we we never want to give our student athletes a a greater risk than our general students," Ziggy said.
The California Collegiate Athletic Association, a Division II conference, followed up Tuesday's announcement that its suspending all athletic competition for Fall 2020.
While NCAA president Mark Emmert said they will be leaving the decision to bring sports back up to state officials and university presidents, making a uniform return nearly impossible.
"Yes, it could look different in California than it does another state. Where we run into challenges is as things are announced, you know, it makes our coaches and student athletes. Wonder what's going to happen in the fall," Ziggy said.
Which also brings up the possibility of student-athletes wanting to transfer to an institution that may see sports return faster than schools here in California.
"I know in our conference in the big west. We all are going to be on the same playing field because we're all going to have the same decision so what i would tell student athletes, is make sure they have all the facts," Ziggy said. "And, before they make any type of decision. You know that could, that could ultimately hurt them academically and competitively.”
Ziggy also shared that there is some flexibility amongst the 23 CSU programs for different return dates, but health will always be the main goal for CSUB's decision.
"Step one is, you know we have to have our student athletes back on campus in a healthy and safe environment, and they have to train and practice prior to being able to compete. If we're going to have student athletes return then we're confident that we have all measures in place. Could that be without fans, it could," Ziggy said. "While there's definitely a lot of unknowns and I'm not naive to that. I just feel we're fortunate that, again, we're open, and we're just open in a new way."