An Update on FPU Athletics and Their Return
After a long pause in the action and great worry on the part of our athletes, FPU sports are back. Following the cancellation of the ‘20 spring season, which led itself to another hiatus last fall, the Sunbirds are now allowed to both practice and compete once again. For the first time in our history, all 15 different athletic teams are practicing and competing as fall sports try to make up for their lost seasons. Not only is this an important step forward, but it is also a positive sign that shows the will of our athletic department and its athletes.
Though our Sunbirds are currently without an Athletic Director, the search for a replacement is still ongoing. We would like to thank former AD Aaron Henderson for his tireless work and for promoting excellence in our athletics on and off the field. His work will not go unnoticed and we wish him well in his future endeavors. We would also like to thank our athletics department itself for continuing to operate throughout the pandemic and ensuring that our teams are able to practice and compete without missing a single beat.
To get a better grasp on how sports are currently operating, as well as why it was important to get them back, the Syrinx interviewed Associate Athletics Director Jeremiah Wood for insight on sports in these times.
What sports are currently operating right now?
“All 15 of our athletics teams are practicing and competing at the same time, something that’s never happened before, due to the pandemic pushing back fall sport seasons.”
How are we keeping our athletes safe? And how are we ensuring their safety on campus, and away from it, during games?
“The health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our priority and we’ve been able to implement an intricate system of testing and protocols that ensures each team is able to safely compete. This has involved a lot of work behind the scenes from our university administration, our sports medicine staff and our conference office. We conduct both PCR and antigen tests multiple times per week, in addition to regular COVID protocols, and we make sure the universities we’re competing with meet NCAA and PacWest Conference standards.”
How strong have our athletes and staff been throughout all this change, and how has that made sure that they can even have this chance to play?
“I’m proud of the resilience our student-athletes and coaches continue to show in the midst of extra protocols, last-minute travel changes, cancellations and adapting to changing circumstances in the midst of an already challenging time in the world. We’re also extremely proud of the work of our sports medicine staff to keep our student-athletes safe, as well as our gameday operations, events staff, and athletics communications team that have put in so many extra hours behind the scenes.”
It comes as no surprise that both our athletes and staff have incredible hope and faith in these most troubling of times. Losing the spring and fall seasons was a gut punch to many of our student athletes, but the effort Fresno Pacfic has made, and indeed continues to make, has helped them back to their rightful spotlight. We stand with our Athletics Department through thick and thin, and are very happy to see that they are back in action! Hopefully next semester sees both a return of affairs to normalcy and sports back in their designated season, because we are all eager to continue to support and endorse FPU athletics.
Author: Julian Alcaraz|Features Editor