Navy athletics pause continues as restriction of movement order remains through Monday night

By BILL WAGNER | The Capital | Published: March 14, 2021

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Tribune News Service) — Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk has adopted a new mantra for operating during a pandemic.

"We take it one day at a time," Gladchuk has stated repeatedly since Navy varsity sports teams returned to action last fall.

Gladchuk has learned the hard way there is no looking ahead, no predicting the future during the COVID-19 era.

Testament to that fact came Friday when Naval Academy leadership announced the restriction of movement order would remain in place through Monday night.

After consulting with the academy medical staff, the leadership team determined the Brigade of Midshipmen had not overcome a campus-wide outbreak of positive virus tests sufficiently enough to resume normal activities.

Academy leadership determined that current numbers did not support exiting the restriction of movement period on Monday. Commander Alana Garas, academy spokesperson, said the leadership would continue to assess the numbers on a daily basis and would ease COVID mitigations as soon as practical.

That means Navy athletics will remain on pause well into next week and likely will not resume outside competition until the weekend in a best-case scenario.

Navy athletics had announced this past Wednesday its extended its pause, which began March 1 and was initially set to last a minimum of 10 days. At the time, Gladchuk was hopeful those varsity programs in action this spring could resume practicing as early as Monday.

That gave hope that Navy baseball and volleyball could proceed with playing games Wednesday, while numerous other sports would have no problem playing games or otherwise participating in competitions by the weekend.

That timeline will most likely be pushed back a bit based on the superintendent's latest decision, which was communicated to the brigade Friday.

"We had anticipated we would be cleared by this weekend and would be able to reengage in at least practice by Monday at a minimum," Gladchuk said. "However, the superintendent, based off the most recent medical advice, has determined that all activities should remain on pause. That status will continue until [Buck) feels comfortable the COVID situation in Bancroft Hall is under control."

Gladchuk said there is still a chance Navy sports could get back on the fields, courts and tracks by next weekend. He noted that athletes would need several days of conditioning after being sidelined for more than two weeks.

"If we were fortunate enough to get the green light early next week, I would think the timing that is needed to recalibrate would prevent any sport from playing until the weekend," he said.

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