Are Fall Sports at College of the Desert Cancelled for 2021-22?

Brandy Flores

The Desert Sun reported on Tuesday that student-athletes at the College of the Desert were told by their coaches that all fall contact sports were canceled for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. After hearing from their coaches that College of the desert canceled fall contact sports for the upcoming school year, student-athletes were both upset, and a little confused.

Ilyne Saenz is a soccer player for COD, and she found out the news on Friday from her coach with the rest of the women’s soccer team during a team zoom meeting.

“This new school year hasn’t even started yet. And they’ve already made the decision to just cancel out the sports. And I just felt like they should have gave it a little bit more time until they made a permanent decision as they did.”

Brooks Stephenson is a football player for COD, and he also shares the same frustration.

“I was confused that we’re getting all the vaccinations right now, the stay at home order got lifted. I don’t see why they would cancel it eight months before but they want to be safe and it’s up to them.”

After reaching out to the College of the Desert, NBC Palm Springs was provided this statement, in which COD makes clear that they have not made a permanent decision to cancel fall sports.

When Stephenson and Saez heard this statement, there was just more confusion, because this directly contradicts what was told to them by their coaches. 

Saez: “I mean, it’s confusing. We’re being told one thing, but they’re saying another to everyone else, and coming from a coach, we just assume or think like, oh, it really is canceled. So to hear that statement, it’s really surprising honestly.”

Stephenson: “If they decide to have a season, like that sounds like they might decide to have a season still. So I mean, if that’s true,  I’d be happy about that.  I hope they do, but it sounds to me as if they won’t. I don’t know, it’s kind of a confusing spot for all of us right now.”

NBC Palm Springs has reached out to College of the Desert to ask for further clarification and is waiting to hear back.

However, both Saez and Stephenson still don’t see their season being canceled as a total negative. One thing student-athletes have learned to do during this pandemic is how to make the best of any situation, and continue to move forward. 

Stephenson: “It’s a good opportunity to build a bond with the players and learn the playbook. I mean, we have a really good team, and we could have been really good this year, but we could be even better next year.”

Saez: “I think we’re all pretty much just gonna stick with the team, and practice on our own if we can. It gives us time to focus on school and just pick our grades up. So either way, it’s a win-win.”

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