More from Dave Martin About Athletics During the Pandemic

Dave Martin, director of Athletics, talks more about the strength of the team during the pandemic.

Dave Martin, director of Athletics
Dave Martin, director of Athletics

Once competition began, fans were not allowed to attend any event in Scranton throughout the course of the year. How difficult was this decision to make and ultimately stick with throughout the course of the semester?

I think everyone was disappointed that we weren’t allowed to have spectators at our sporting events. I think it’s important to note that our goal through this entire pandemic was to give our student-athletes a chance to compete. Conference presidents felt that it was an added risk to allow people from all different areas to come into a sporting event. Here at the University, we had a no visitor policy in place throughout the entire semester. Again, this was done to ensure that we kept everyone on campus safe and that we were able to get to the end of the academic year without having any stoppage in our in-person learning. 

What was the hardest part of trying to play sports during a global pandemic, in your opinion?

I think one of the biggest challenges was the fact that there were so many things that were unknown as it related to COVID-19. I believe it was difficult to get people to understand that the reason we had protocols in place was for the safety of our student-athletes. Truth be told, it was a nightmare trying to enforce the masking policy. However, we knew that we had to do it in order to compete. 

Describe the feeling of finally seeing our student-athletes and coaches compete in February and throughout the spring semester.

That’s a great question! By the time we got to February, everyone was exhausted and I think there were many people that were questioning if all of this was really worth it. Was what we had to go through worth it to play? I can tell you after watching our first basketball game that it was all worth it! Watching our kids compete and seeing how excited they were to be back on the floor made all of our efforts seem worthwhile! 

I can’t say enough positive things about our coaches and our athletic staff throughout this entire pandemic. From contact tracing to meal delivery to students in quarantine and isolation, to COVID testing in the Long Center, to chaperoning students in quarantine at Chapman Lake. Our staff all stepped up and contributed. I am grateful to each and every one of them and I am extremely proud to be a part of this team.

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