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A GRIP ON SPORTS • Today’s the day. The Pac-12 CEOs are meeting. They need to make a decision about sports in 2020. Start or not? And when?
Members of the offensive line trotted out to the practice field behind the Whitworth Fieldhouse, their masks on as they began their first practice in a fall. They did so with no certain plans to play a football game anytime soon.
Universities in the Inland Northwest are back in class – or will be soon.
Hundreds of masked freshmen, some accompanied by their parents or other helpers, hauled their belongings into their dorm rooms in staggered shifts on Friday to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.
"Both Gonzaga and Whitworth enroll very bright students, but our students come from very diverse backgrounds. And what we learned in the spring was that many of our students simply were not able to succeed to the extent that they were capable, because we were in an online format," Whitworth President Beck Taylor said in an interview.
If any sports are being played at Whitworth between now and January, it won't be Northwest Conference competition.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Years ago the S-R did a series of stories about the differences between Western and Eastern Washington. We called it “The Great Divide.” Little did anyone know, that term would be all the rage in 2020.
Gonzaga and Whitworth say they have invested in COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other measures to limit the health effects of the pandemic, but Spokane County’s health officer, Dr. Bob Lutz, says it’s inevitable that some students will become infected. He and other experts are urging students to behave responsibly, especially if they choose to socialize with peers.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • What an eventful Sunday. Which may lead to an eventful week. Or not. A lot depends on college presidents and virus numbers, which makes it hard to predict.
In a season of social distancing, there is irony in the Whitworth athletics department celebrating the fact that nearly all their coaches can now – after years spent in five different buildings – be together under the same roof.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Golf has been back for a while. But “real” golf, major golf, returns to our televisions today. And the PGA Championship comes to us from an unlikely spot.
For as much as spring sports were disrupted when NCAA Division III sports shut down in March, fall sports weren’t spared, either.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Yes, there is good news out there. That’s not as much a given as it used to be, pre-pandemic. But we’ve found some. Which gives us a chance to have a good new/bad news type of day.
With 21 varsity sports offered, the Whitworth athletic department has produced no shortage of decorated athletes in the past 20 years.
Whitworth University is moving forward with plans for students, faculty and staff to return to campus this fall, according to a Wednesday evening tweet from school President Beck A. Taylor.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Have you enjoyed baseball season? We certainly did. And, yes, the past tense is deliberate.
The Whitworth men were well represented when the National Association of Basketball Coaches released its Academic Team and Honors Court awards for Division III schools last week.
If colleges reopen without adequate safeguards in place, they risk facilitating virus outbreaks that would endanger students, faculty and staff and be costly to get under control. But if they keep courses entirely online, they risk driving away students who expect a traditional college experience for their tuition dollars, as well as those with limited access to technology and the internet.
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Baseball’s Opening Day has been a rite of passage every spring since before anyone alive today can remember. Besides the colorful bunting, the ceremonial first-pitch, the long-winded introductions, there is something more emotional, more from the heart. There is a deep and abiding sense of hope. Of promise. Of optimism. Of potential. Will those feelings still be there when the 2020 season begins tonight?
Many winter and spring athletes at Whitworth had their seasons cut short earlier this year due to the pandemic, but there was hope that come fall, a return to normalcy would be possible.