Gov OKs outdoor sports; AACC to wait for spring


Frank Mitchell III

Men’s Soccer goalie Brenden LeMaster says he would be willing to play for fans if the college allowed it.

Johannes Haasbroek, Editor-in-Chief

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday authorized colleges to allow a limited number of fans to attend outdoor sports games, but AACC officials have not approved the return of fall athletics to campus. 

Athletic Director Duane Herr said there are no plans to bring back sports to campus this fall.  

“We continue to monitor everything that’s going on and we just haven’t felt that it’s entirely safe,” he explained. “We remain committed to holding off until we feel like we can really do things with player safety at the forefront of things.” 

Hogan’s executive order allows attendance at outdoor college sports events up 25% capacity, but restricts the spectators to students and faculty. In addition, the college would have to take the temperatures of all fans as they enter the stadium to detect infection. 

Hogan’s ruling also requires colleges with outdoor games to test at least 15% of the school’s population every week and determine that the rate of positive cases does not exceed .25% of the campus population. 

Even if sports return to campus next semester, Herr said, it is unlikely that AACC Athletics will allow spectators to attend the games 

“If we’re permitted to play, our focus is going to be on our student athlete safety,” he said. “Given our responsibility to those student athletes, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense for us to bring in spectators and have to add another [level] of security that we really don’t have in terms of [having] … 10 sports operating.” 

Herr said AACC Athletics will live stream its matches in the spring. 

Some student athletes said they would be willing to play for fans if the college allowed it. 

Men’s Soccer goalie Brenden LeMaster said the sports stadiums at the college are big enough for social distancing.  

“If it’s done in … a[n] orderly fashion, I think it wouldn’t be a problem,” LeMaster, a second-year secondary education and Spanish student, said. 

Women’s Soccer defender Morgan Argubright disagreed. 

“If fans coming … will affect us being able to play, then I’d rather play with no fans than not play at all,” Argubright, a second-year transfer studies student, said.