UNC-Pembroke basketball opts out of their season due to COVID-19 concerns

Sports

PEMBROKE, NC (WBTW) – Athletics department officials at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke announced Monday that the men’s basketball team has decided to opt out of countable athletic-related activity (CARA) for the remainder of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Student-athletes who choose to opt out of their respective competition seasons due to COVID-19 concerns will be able to keep their scholarships, per an NCAA mandate announced late last year. The NCAA also announced in December that winter sport student-athletes who compete during the 2020-21 academic year will receive an additional season of competition through a waiver approved by the the Division II Management Council.

“The decision to compete during the winter and spring seasons has not been taken lightly by any of our student-athletes, coaches or administrators,” said athletics director Dick Christy. “As I have told our staff and students, we are going to work to provide a safe and competitive outlet this season as long as it is the students who are energized and interested in pursuing such amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Our student-athletes in men’s basketball made their voices heard yesterday, and we respect their decision and will continue to stand behind their efforts toward academic success this semester.”

Due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, the NCAA has directed all member institutions to provide student-athletes with an option to opt out of athletics participation. UNCP Athletics has supported the decisions of any individual student-athletes who wish to opt out this year, and the department will continue that support with the men’s basketball team.

Monday’s decisions by a majority of the team left the Braves unable to field a full squad that would be able to endure the rigors of the remainder of the competition season.

“This season has been an especially taxing experience, both physically and mentally, on and off of the court,” said men’s basketball head coach Drew Richards. “We are thankful and extremely proud of how our players have handled the last four months, and will, without a doubt, have them ready and excited to compete in 2021-22.”

Courtesy – UNC-Pembroke Athletic Department

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