Athletic Director Rob Chesney Talks About the Cancellation of Sports Due to COVID-19

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Published April 28, 2020
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The Montclarion
Montclair State's athletic director, Rob Chesney, encourages students to keep up their academics, saying that comes before sports. Photo from montclairathletics.com

For many who are stuck at home, COVID-19 has brought life to a halt and moved much of it to online platforms. For Montclair State University Athletic Director Rob Chesney, adjusting to this new normal is something that he and his department are still trying to adapt to as the pandemic evolves.

“I think people are doing their best — certainly from our department and our area,” Chesney said. “We are working hard to try and keep things running and keep things normal as they can be in this situation.”

Softball could not finish their season after they came back from the Spring Games in Florida due to COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Anton Specht

Softball could not finish their season after they came back from the Spring Games in Florida due to COVID-19.
Photo courtesy of Anton Specht

With spring sports canceled and the university closed, the day-to-day schedule for the department has greatly changed.

“We have been able as a group internally here within the department to continue to talk quite a bit, update each other in different areas that we all coordinate and then pass that information along,” Chesney said. “Whether it’s to the rest of the staff or it’s to the student-athletes.”

Coaches have remained in touch with their athletes through online platforms such as Zoom. Without their sports, spring athletes should use this time to focus on other priorities, Chesney explained.

He also gave a message for all the spring sport athletes.

Men's lacrosse was one of the sports whose season got cut short by COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Anton Specht

Men’s lacrosse was one of the sports whose season got cut short by COVID-19.
Photo courtesy of Anton Specht

“The main thing right now is to make sure your academics stay up,” Chesney said. “Doing well in your classes, that’s probably the most important thing right now. Stay healthy, keep your academics up and then sports. You’ll play back here soon enough.”

However, for some senior athletes, this is not the case. Chesney feels deeply for these athletes.

“It’s especially disappointing for senior athletes,” Chesney said. “There is nothing more to say about that. It’s a tough decision. You really feel bad for those young men and women all around the country who had that happen, certainly within our department.”

Even though there is so much change, there is still some hope for spring athletes who had their season cut short. The NCAA recently announced that schools can authorize an additional season of competition and extend an athlete’s period of eligibility.

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