Sports resume at TCC; fan protocol in place
Special to the Outlook
Almost a year after the coronavirus outbreak suspended athletic activities across the country, team sports are being revived at Tallahassee Community College this month.
According to a recently released spring schedule, Eagles’ men’s and women’s teams will be the first to compete since last March. TCC also announced protocols on fan attendance for the upcoming season.
In its response last summer to COVID-19 pandemic, the NJCAA, announced all fall and winter sports, with the exception of cross country, would be moved to the spring semester, with a reduced schedule. Protocols such as fan attendance and mask requirements, however, would be at the discretion of each member college.
As a result, TCC will not allow general admission spectators at any home events through at least the month of February. College officials will determine protocols for March and April’s home events at a later date.
“The safety and well-being of all game participants, including visiting teams, as well as game officials and game management staff, is our number one priority, and we are determined to provide an environment that will preserve the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete,” said Director of Athletics Rob Chaney.
He added: “By allowing (at least) a six-week start-up without fans, everyone will have the opportunity to become acclimated to and get comfortable with this year’s ‘new normal’ and the added procedures that will accompany on-campus events for the spring.”
Per FCSAA policy approved in December, all student-athletes, coaches, game officials and game staff must complete a COVID screening on game days and a non-contact temperature check upon arrival at the event site. All individuals should have a mask or face covering available for use when social distancing is not possible, outside of live competition.
According to Chaney, college coaches, professional scouts and credentialed media will be allowed to attend and have access to socially-distanced seating while also adhering to the face covering protocols.
In lieu of fan attendance, TCC Athletics will live stream as many events as possible at no cost on TCCeagles.com. In addition to TCCeagles.com, events can be streamed on Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku by downloading the Team1Sports app and searching for the Tallahassee Community College channel.
Chaney added that although only one live broadcast can be supported on dates with multiple home events, he hopes the remaining games can be pushed into the platform for on-demand viewing.
While the Eagles’ cross country teams ran a full season in the fall, the TCC has not hosted a regular season athletics event on-campus since March 12, the day the sports world infamously came to a screeching halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spring 2021 athletics schedule began Jan. 20 when the men’s basketball team was scheduled to face to face South Georgia Technical College in Americus, Ga., at 7 p.m. The first home event for the Eagles is scheduled for Saturday when the Eagle men host Hillsborough Community College. That same day, the Eagle women will be in Melbourne, Fla., for their season-opener against Indian River State College at 11 a.m.
On the diamonds, the Eagles’ baseball team will open the season at home with a mid-week game on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. against Santa Fe College. The softball team swings into action at the Adidas JUCO Kickoff Tournament & Showcase in Clearwater, Fla., on Jan. 29.
Track and field will announce its complete schedule at a later date, but has its signature event locked in – the prestigious FAMU Relays on March 27.
TCC also announced that all schedules, including the livestream, are subject to change.