NCAAW: Maryland-Eastern Shore opts out amid myriad complications

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 25 Women’s Penn at Princeton
The Princeton Tigers women’s basketball team was denied a third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2019-20 and will have to sit out all of 2020-21 as well. | Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore joins the eight Ivy League schools, Bethune-Cookman and Cal State Northridge by canceling its 2020-21 women’s basketball season. Legendary men’s coach Rick Pitino is calling for a longer delay to the season.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) announced Thursday the cancellation of its men’s and women’s basketball seasons due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The UMES Hawks compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and have canceled all sports for the spring semester of 2020-21. They join the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (MEAC), the Cal State Northridge Matadors (Big West) and the entire Ivy League as a program that has opted out of the NCAAW season.

The scheduled start date for the season remains Nov. 25, but not for a couple of major programs in Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State, which were both supposed to begin on that date.

The Vanderbilt Commodores canceled their season opener against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles due to “positive COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and injuries.” The Oklahoma State Cowgirls canceled their season opener against the Little Rock Trojans after three of their players tested positive for COVID-19.

On Nov. 14, legendary men’s coach Rick Pitino (now with the Iona Gaels) called for a delay to the season on Twitter.

There are a number of issues surrounding quarantining regulations that differ from state-to-state, making it very difficult when it comes to scheduling for all college sports.

In addition, a basketball coach revealed that his non-DI league in Michigan is preparing to wear masks during games.

The Ivy League, which is made up of eight schools, announced on Nov. 12 that it will not be going through with its winter sports season. The news came on the same day that Cal State Northridge announced its women’s basketball team will not be competing this year. Meanwhile, Bethune-Cookman canceled sports for the entire school year on Oct. 26.