March 23, 2020
Volume 93, Issue 19
FROM THE ANCHOR EXECUTIVE BOARD
It is with heavy hearts that we are temporarily suspending print editions of The Anchor due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to publish weekly online content for the remainder of the semester to keep you, our readers informed on campus issues and engaged with the campus community.
At a time of immense uncertainty such as this, it would be easy for us to make the decision to simply not publish. We have chosen to continue to publish for the RIC campus and community largely because of what the Anchor has stood for over the past 93 years at Rhode Island College. We strive to provide relevant, interesting and factual information for the RIC students, faculty and staff, regardless of the challenges that this pandemic presents.
During times of crisis, community is vitally important. As we rely on one another to navigate this changing environment, our dedicated staff will remain employed and do our best to deliver coverage on multiple online platforms. We encourage any and all feedback to help improve our delivery and accessibility of content. Likewise, please continue to reach out to us with any on or off campus concerns and commentary. We may not be on campus, but our community remains vibrant, diverse and worthy of celebrating.
You can read our latest issue at www.anchorweb.org, or at issuu. In addition, we welcome you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional content surrounding campus news, COVID-19 updates and of course the newspaper itself.
RIC residents to receive reimbursement to move off campus
Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief
Photo by Grace KImmell
Rhode Island College has decided to join other institutions of higher education and transition to remote learning starting on March 23. This has been recommended at the state and federal level to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
RIC residentes received an email from Darcy Dubois, the Interim Director of Residential Life and Housing, as a follow up to President Sanchez’s email on March 12. Sanchez’s email was regarding the cancellation of classes from March 16 through March 20 planning to reopen with remote learning the following week. The email that residents received was giving students the opportunity to move off campus or continue to live on campus as the school transitions to remote learning. If students choose to leave campus, they will not be permitted to move back for the remainder of the semester, which is recommended by federal guidelines.
While students commend the RIC administration for having their safety in their best interest, living on campus is necessary for some students to continue furthering their education at RIC. For the following reasons stated in a change.org petition started by Anthony Diebold: “(1) Delivery of instruction for the majority of courses will now be online, removing the primary student incentive to live on campus. (2) This decision will especially harm parents and students from low to middle income families who have put in a high investment for the privilege of living on campus, either through savings or through loans, and this will pressure them to send their students to school in a potentially unsafe environment. (3) A dormitory setting involves close contact with a large amount of people, potentially exacerbating the risk of contraction of the coronavirus, putting student safety at risk. (4) Donovan Dining Center, as a restaurant open to the public, sees a large amount of people on a daily basis and this setting, as the only institution on campus for food, could potentially further expose both students and staff to the coronavirus.”
While residents on campus did not get the full refund they were hoping for, they will be reimbursed 20 percent of their housing and dining plans if they move off campus by March 22. Residence halls will remain open and students will consolidate in single rooms in Penfield Hall.
Since this petition was “closed” RIC has shut down Donovan Dining Center, Adams Library and the Recreation Center. These closures will limit what students can do, where they can go and what they can eat on campus. RIC continues to follow federal and state guidelines and has cancelled or postponed events with 10 or more people. RIC “is closely following the most current information and guidelines regarding this outbreak, including specific guidelines laid out for college campuses across the country according to the CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health.” At this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Rhode Island College.
Federal Student Loan interest freeze to take effect immediately
Lucille Di Naro, Managing Editor
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on Friday that the Office of Federal Student Aid will provide student loan relief to borrowers with federally held student loans. This decision was made to provide financial relief for students whose income has been disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Interest rates on federal student loans will be set to 0% for a 60 day period and borrowers may suspend loan repayment for up to two months. This includes Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Family Education Loans that are held by the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will automatically adjust interest rates on federal student loan accounts, effective Mar. 13. Any interest that has accrued on federally held student loans since Mar. 13 will be automatically reprieved. However, borrowers must contact their loan servicer directly to request a 60 day forbearance period. ED has noted that they may extend the loan interest freeze period depending on the progression of the COVID-19 national emergency.
Despite this period of no interest, borrowers may continue to make payments at their own discretion. During this period of time, any payment made to federal student loans will apply directly to the principal loan amount if the interest accrued prior to Mar. 13 has been paid. Otherwise, payments will be applied to the accrued interest as usual.
The period of no interest does not apply to privately held loans. Borrowers with privately held loans can request administrative forbearance by contacting their loan servicing department directly. Likewise, students who are enrolled in income based repayment and have recently suffered from a loss of wages may contact their loan servicing department to recalculate their monthly payment.
Students who are unsure if they are eligible can visit the National Student Loan Data System to access personal student loan information. To access this data, students may visit https://studentaid.gov/ and sign in with their Federal Student Aid ID username and password. These are the same credentials students use to file the FAFSA. The RIC Financial Aid Office is open and operating during business hours to assist students during the national emergency.
Some stocks surge other stocks sink
Abigail Nilsson, Editor in Chief
While the stock markets are plummeting to record lows since 2008, consumers are still going out and clearing shelves at local markets. As several shelves remain empty, people are being directed to remain home from school and work, eight products continue to be sold throughout the country. Here is what they are and why they are in high demand:
Name recognition has helped out Corona Extra as the name has become embedded in the coronavirus narrative. Constellation Brands said in a recent press release, “Based on recent IRI retail trends, sales of Corona Extra remain strong, with dollar sales up 5 percent in the U.S. per the latest 4-week period ended Feb. 16, nearly doubling the 52-week trend for the brand.“
People are getting the maxx for the minimum as the TJ Maxx stock continues to soar over 5.5 percent last week. This company does not outsource and get their products from overseas or China. The TJX company purchases overstock from other companies and sells the products at cheaper prices - making them ressialliant to the coronavirus.
Oatly is a category leader according to a Nielsen survey, where people are stockpiling this oat milk brand. With more than a 300 percent increase this product beat the disinfecting sprays and hand sanitizer.
Meanwhile, Campbell’s Soup increased their production in early March to prepare for the pandemic, which helped their stocks soar for their second quarter at 6 percent. The CEO Mark Clouse told CNBC on March 4 that “the company is increasing soup production having seen an increase in demand, both online and from store retailers, during the previous weekend.”
The more people are doing work from home and on self-quarantine, Netflix and chill is the new norm. In early March its stock surged to its second- highest peak in its history, at 4.1 percent, having already defied markets with a 5 percent hike in the previous week. "We are boosting our anticipated subscribership numbers for Netflix's first quarter, primarily due to what we believe is a 'cocooning' effect at hand due to fears surrounding the coronavirus," Imperial Capital analyst David Miller said in a note to clients.
Lysol and Clorox are both common household cleaners that have been selling out in just about every store. Sales of other household sanitizers have increased by 32 percent since last year, according to Nielsen data, and are still going up. Lysol is one of the more well known disinfectants and has shared the CDC guidelines for cleaning surfaces on their social media platforms stating that Lysol products kill the COVID-19 virus. The Clorox stock is also up over 11 percent since February 3 because it is known to kill viruses on surfaces. The Clorox chief marketing officer Stacey Grier said, “what we don’t do is market fear.”
Along with household cleaning products, and face masks, hand sanitizers, such as Purel, are hard to come by at stores. According to Nielsen data, the sales of hand sanitizing products has increased to nearly 74% and is close to being out of stock nationwide.
While many of these products are common, and will continue to be purchased, there may be a halt when it comes to consumers spending money. Some experts believe that these surges will come to a halt and the stock market will continue to plunge. Even these companies who seem to be doing well may not be immune to the effects of COVID-19.
Arts & Entertainment
Song review: “The Man”
Justine Lewis, Online Media Manager
Taylor Swift’s newest album “Lover” was released in September of last year. I didn’t really give it much of my attention as I never really saw myself as a fan of hers. In fact, I had previously been more anti-Taylor Swift than anything because I just really didn’t like her “love songs.” However, her newest single off the album has really caught my attention.
The music video for “The Man” showed up in my YouTube recommendations a day or two after it was uploaded so I decided to watch it and… I was surprisingly impressed. The music video is buzzworthy in and of itself for featuring Tyler Swift, Taylor’s new male alter ego. The song itself however, has often been labeled as “too woke,” meaning she’s just trying to be super liberal in order to gain attention. I don’t think this is necessarily a political move and more of a way for her to record a song that she felt needed to be made. It is a very upbeat track and can be seen as more tongue in cheek than anything else.
When thinking about the song’s basic premise, the only other notable example of a similar track is when Beyonce released “If I Were a Boy” back in 2009. Beyonce is known for releasing songs meant to bash men, and as internet reviewer Todd in the Shadows put it, “Why target one man at a time when you can take them all out at once?” Hence, we got this train wreck of a song, which takes itself way too seriously. The music video is all in black and white and the lyrics are more about demonizing men than with experimenting with a male identity. Most things she describes men as doing in the song relates to how they always mistreat their women.
While Swift says she’d be more of a player as a man, and both songs touch on the freedoms of not being judged as harshly by others, Swift never demonizes men in her song and instead is more poking fun at the double standards for men and women in an attempt to bring attention to these issues. You can disagree with the way both these ladies view manhood all you want, but due to the playful tone, the intriguing music video, and a more accurate set of lyrics, I’d say “The Man” by Taylor Swift is the clear winner of the two, blowing Beyonce’s track way out of the water.
Shows to stream during social isolation
Lucille Di Naro, Managing Editor
Ok people, I know everyone is home and classes are online due to COVID-19, so we’ve all had some extra time on our hands. What better way to spend it than to volunteer at your local food bank? Oh, you thought I was going somewhere else? Alright, I’ll bite. Once you’ve registered to volunteer with the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (seriously, apply at this link) you can use the free time you have left to watch these five binge-worthy shows:
Westworld Available on HBO
They know who you are when no one is watching. And they want revenge. Back for its third season, this show is everything you love about Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and then some. You’ll probably want to skp the Yul Brynner film, though.
Altered Carbon Available on Netflix
Society has conquered death. Takeshi Kovacs, an interstellar warrior from a time long forgotten, inhabits the drug laden digital future to secure the immortality of Laurens Bancroft. And that’s just season one. I promise, you don’t want to miss this one.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay Available on Hulu
I’m a sucker for blended families. They’re awkward, imperfect and remind you that to love is to be humble. In Hulu’s Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, the death of Nicholas’ father leaves him as the caretaker of his teenage half-sisters, a job none of them want him to have.
Twin Peaks Available on Netflix, Hulu and Showtime
An oldie but goodie. Twin Peaks is juxtaposed between a dream and a nightmare, as Special Agent Dale Cooper heads to the Pacific Northwest to solve the murder of Laura Palmer, the girl everyone thought they knew.
Love is Blind Available on Netflix
It’s trashy. It’s completely ridiculous. It's 90 Day Fiance meets speed dating. The Bachelor has ended, and I know you need a new reality tv show to indulge in. Love is Blind will do the trick.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Just what the isolation ordered.
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
As though ordained by an ancient prophecy to arrive at a time when the world was in dire straits, Animal Crossing: New Horizons serves as the breath of fresh air the quarantined masses needed. The fifth installment of the life simulation game franchise utilizes the traditional Animal Crossing mechanics but adds a different dimension to things through its premise. Gone are the populated cities and towns past titles dropped you into to make your own. New Horizons instead casts players off onto their own deserted island and gives them the opportunity to carve out a society in their own image almost entirely from scratch. Also gone is the wide cast of characters to start off with, the player instead being joined only by a small group of randomly generated companions and the racoon mogul Tom Nook.
Crafting is a major focus of this title, a fairly new concept which was introduced in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in 2017. While the player will have plenty of options to spend the two in-game currencies on furniture and other goods, the majority of tools and items used in the day to day will be made personally by your own avatars digital hands. This places heavy emphasis on the farming of resources and to maximize their supply of wood, stones, sticks and other essentials players will have the opportunity to explore their new tropical environment. This aspect of the game is akin to Minecraft: fans of that title will find themselves easing into a comfortable and familiar groove.
Now, your island is not intended to remain empty forever. The player is able to venture out to other islands and recruit a variety of classic Animal Crossing characters to come inhabit your new land. As the game progresses, players will be able to expand their homes and build new facilities, developing their island into a community that more closely resembles classic Animal Crossing gameplay.
The real appeal of New Horizons in these times though is the interconnectivity offered. Being able to visit a good friend's island and frolic through the flowers, fish in the ocean, collect seashells together and then unwind by the bonfire is priceless for gamers who may not have seen another person beyond their families or roommates in over a week.
One could take another hundred words or so to gripe about issues with the controls or shortages of certain resources that can make completing certain tasks feel inorganically difficult. However that all pales in comparison to the much needed warm feeling planting a peach tree while listening to soothing trumpet music alongside your best friend. Sometimes due to circumstances entirely outside of its creators' control, a piece of media comes out at just the right time, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of those for shore.
Reporting from the frontlines of COVID-19
Alexis Rapoza, Opinions Editor
Photos by Abigail Nilsson and Grace Kimmell
At the retail store I work at we’ve been out of toilet paper for three days straight. Hand sanitizer has been out of stock for almost a month and baby wipes are flying off the shelves. Yesterday at work I was asked 15 times if we had computer monitors in stock...we did not.
Grocery stores, supermarkets, delivery drivers, rideshare drivers and of course, healthcare professionals have had the pleasure of witnessing first hand the disruption COVID-19 has inflicted on our daily lives. Jobs that pay minimum wage or just above have become the frontlines of the current pandemic wreaking havoc on the world. Armed for each shift with a bottle of hand sanitizer to be shared amongst all employees and any disinfectant we can rescue from the bulk-buyers, we show up every shift ready for a day of verbal abuse and entitlement. Service workers are at high risk for contracting COVID-19 but nevertheless we continue to press on, knowing that if we were to call out we wouldn’t be paid. And with all that said I consider myself one of the lucky ones. At least I’m still employed.
COVID-19 has revealed a striking distinction between America and the rest of the world and no, it's not our lackluster response to an international health crisis but rather the complete disregard the government has for working class hourly employees.
179 countries or about 92% of the world has mandatory paid sick leave, the United States has none. Furthermore, nearly 9% or 27.5 million Americans do not have health insurance. How are people supposed to “social distance” if they’ll lose jobs when they take off work? How are we supposed to contain this virus if millions of Americans cannot even afford to go to a doctor?
For years we’ve functioned under this status quo. We go to work when we’re sick and set up Gofundme campaigns when friends or relatives suffer from expensive health conditions but now it has finally come to a head. The United States has never been more unprepared for a global pandemic.
The current administration boasts about the economy and although unemployment was down a top economist at Bank of America has declared that the US economy has officially entered a recession. If you only continue to uplift the 1% then the other 99% become more likely to fall through the cracks. The safety net that the Trump administration has spent the last three years dismantling was not there to catch the people it was supposed to. In fact, this week the White House announced that it would continue to move forward with a plan to kick 700,000 Americans off food stamps. But “America first” right? Sounds fake, but okay.
And look, I understand that the lack of economic security Americans have is not entirely the 45th president’s fault-- he is a symptom of an even larger problem. Americans tend to look down on those who work hourly jobs or rely on food stamps to feed their families and now some people are seeing first hand what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck. COVID-19 is a perfect example of how something can come from seemingly out of nowhere and disrupt our lives and financial stability.
The reality is that without that financial safety net of paid leave, health insurance and food assistance we will continue to see crises like these. The ability to successfully “social distance” is a privilege that most of us cannot afford. So the next time you rant at a cashier for sneezing or lecture the shelf stockers about the lack of hand sanitizer, have a little compassion and remember that some of us are putting ourselves at risk just so you can buy that fourteenth roll of toilet paper, which by the way, you definitely do not need.
From Abroad: Costa Rica’s food
Alison Macbeth, Anchor Staff
One of the most important indicators of culture is food. As a study abroad student, food has been a special part of experiencing culture in Costa Rica. Living with a host family means that I get to experience a rich variety of food. Every day learning about Costa Rica’s food is like I am learning Costa Rica’s story.
As a warm climate, Costa Rica boasts in its delicious fruits such as papayas, bananas, mangos, pineapple and coconuts. For breakfast, I always enjoy a wide variety of fruits alongside a cup of coffee [an important part of Costa Rican food economy] and eggs. It is very common to have a dish called “gallo pinto”, beans and rice, for breakfast.
Lunch in Costa Rica also consists of beans and rice, but unlike the breakfast dish “casado” separates the beans and rice. Casado in Spanish means married. Some people say that the black beans are like the suit of the groom while the white rice is like the bride’s dress. Sometimes chayote [a squash-like vegetable that has quickly become a favorite for me] is served alongside the casado with some plantains and a salad.
Dinner is a smaller meal than lunch. And you guessed it-- beans and rice is a typical part of the meal. My host mom often serves soups with various vegetables and meats. Also, fried plantains always accompany the wide array of food.
Food is an important part of culture as well as an indicator of a country’s economy and values. Costa Rica’s main exports are pineapples and bananas-- something I have enjoyed here in Costa Rica as well as in the United States. However, the production of these food items comes with harsh costs including unfair wages for farm workers, environmental degradation, sicknesses due to pesticide use, and water contamination from agriculture chemicals.
Many individuals in Costa Rica have stopped eating pineapples in protest of the horrible social and environmental impacts of the monoculture production. According to the Borgen Project, workers are paid about $83 a week for over 80 hours of work. Likewise, 70 percent of farm workers are from Nicaragua and experience exploitation by the plantation owners. Costa Rica is known to use toxic agro-chemicals banned in the E.U. as well as the U.S. on the pineapple crops. Some plantations spray up to 50 different types of pesticides. Farm workers, although it is against the law, often work up 16 hours exposed to these toxic chemicals. Many of the workers experience chronic health issues and cancer.
In the United States it is easy to detach our diets from reality; however, in Costa Rica the question of farming and food production is in our backyard - How was my food farmed, who farmed it and how did it get to my plate?
The United States imports a lot of food [especially pineapple] from Costa Rica. The food journey as a study abroad student in Costa Rica is allowing me to be close to the beginning of the food’s story. I ask you, my reader, to consider where your food is coming from and if it is being nurtured in a fair, ethical and sustainable way.
Chelsea Yang: heartbreak and tears in the NCAA
Jake Elmslie, Sports Editor
“Tears wouldn’t stop, my whole world felt like it was ending. I was really anticipating that podium, I was ready to cry tears of joy, not grief.” From being pressured into weight throwing by her older brother as a freshman at Pilgrim High School, to becoming the Rhode Island College record holder, Chelsea Yang’s life has been defined by throwing. “When I describe myself to people the first thing I ever say is I’m a thrower.” Yang, a junior biology major, was the only RIC athlete who had traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C. to compete in the Division III Track and Field Championship. Yang, who was the number one ranked weight thrower in the country, was considered the favorite to win the event. However, on March 12th the NCAA released a statement announcing the cancellation of winter and spring championships throughout all sports making Yang one of the 460,000 plus student athletes in the US left unable to compete. The loss of the opportunity to prove herself as the best in the nation hours before the meet was scheduled to begin was crushing for Yang.
Yang and her coach Nick Palazzo arrived in North Carolina on March 11 so that she could have ample time to familiarize herself with the facilities. According to Yang, her first day of warmups went poorly due to a combination of nerves and not being used to the equipment provided for the meet. However, “day two comes and we find ourselves yet again practicing and something really clicked, I don’t know what exactly but I felt great and my technique was 100 times better. I was excited and confident, and coach kept making a bow and arrow motion telling me I was dropping some bombs, I really thought this was my year.”
This sense of excitement did not last long with Yang receiving the news that the meet had been cancelled that night. “I was watching Netflix when I got the call, I picked up chipper and still riding the success high from earlier. Coach asked me, pretty depressed, ‘did you get my text?’ immediately I knew ‘they cancelled the meet’ my tone was cold and my answers were very short because I didn’t want coach to worry about me. I hung up and cried for I couldn’t tell you how long.”
Much to the relief of Yang, her and Coach Palazzo left North Carolina that night. Since returning home the news has not improved. The Little East Conference officially cancelled all competition for the remainder of the spring, ending any chance at an outdoor track and field season for Yang or her teammates.
For Yang the unfinished ending to her season has been challenging. “My fingers twitch wanting to wrap around the handle of a hammer, it’s been like adjusting to losing a piece of myself, I’m trying to make some plans to head out and throw a couple days a week but if the whole state goes into lock down and I can’t go to a real facility I’m screwed, it’s not safe to throw in a suburb.” At this point Yang is focused on not getting sick and spending time with her family and is “just kind of hoping e-school will bring back a little normalcy.”
The trophy case: the boy who would become king
David Blais, Anchor Staff
The year is 1997. The place is Augusta, GA. The weather is hot. The event is the annual masters tournament. During a four day span, April 10 to 14, the golf world would change forever. A young golfer by the name of Tiger Woods, who was only 21 at the time, is about to win his first major golfing championship. You may be asking why is this so important? In order to understand the significance of this historic event, let’s take a look at the life of Tiger Woods prior to this.
Eldrick Tont Woods was born on Dec. 30, 1975 in Cypress, Calif. Before he even turned two years old, his father Earl Woods introduced him to the game of golf. Earl Woods was an amatuer golfer who loved the sport. Being introduced to the game so young, Woods would end up becoming a child prodigy. He would win his first championship in High School when he was just 15 years old where at the time he was the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur Champion. In 1991, the magazine Golf Digest named Tiger the “Junior Amateur Player of the Year.” He would also compete in his first PGA Tour event in 1992 at the Nissan Los Angeles Open where he missed the 36 hole cut. He then would commit to Stanford University where he would rack up another set of accolades and awards.
Woods would compete in his first PGA Tour major, the 1995 Masters, where he would tie for 41st place. Tiger Woods, at age 20, became the first ever golfer to win three consecutive U.S. amateur titles. With being so successful in his career prior to the 1997 Masters, the pressure was now on for Tiger to perform well in the PGA Major events.
At the 1997 Masters, everyone had their eyes set on Tiger. Woods had recently signed the most lucrative endorsement contract in golf history at the time with Nike adding more pressure. Woods started off making a few rookie mistakes then proceeded to get in the swing of things. At the end of the first round Tiger finished with a score of 70 and two below par being placed 4th in the tournament. In the second round Tiger scored 66 points making his total score 136 and eight below par taking 1st place. In the third round Tiger continued to dominate scoring 65 and extending his lead to 201 points and maintaining 15 below par.
The final round, with Tiger maintaining a nine point lead ahead of the person behind him, all he had to do was finish the game. He did just that finishing with a total score of 270 and 18 below par. The famous picture of him wearing a red Nike sweater and clenching a fist with his right hand signified a new era of golf: the Tiger era. Seeing Tiger in that green Masters jacket showed Woods had arrived and was not going anywhere. That year he was named the PGA “ Tour Player of the Year” and the “Player of the Year.” Tiger would become one of the most influential and famous athletes of all time after his Master’s victory. Tiger would end up winning four mour Master tournaments in 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2019. After his triumphant comeback and winning the 2019 Masters, Woods was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump.
Tiger Woods showed that hard work does pay off. If it was not for him winning the 1997 Masters, the golf landscape would never have been at the point at which it is today.
Busted brackets: the cancellation of March Madness and it’s victims
Ray Olivier, Anchor Staff
Currently the World is in a state of pandemic and COVID-19 has caused many organizations to halt their day-to-day operations to properly isolate and attempt to cease the spread of this virus. The NCAA has decided to shut down all college athletic programs for the foreseeable future. Included in this suspension of games is the NCAA’s Men and Women’s basketball tournaments, otherwise known as March Madness.
It is understandable why the NCAA has taken this precaution, even though it means cancelling a sporting event that is both a source of revenue and entertainment. The tournament partners with television syndicates TBS, TNT, TruTV and CBS in order to broadcast their games and showcase the talent that both the Men and Women college basketball players have. Without this tournament there is no exposure for colleges and their athletes. The entertainment factor is also lost. Every year from the second week of March until the first week of April the NCAA gives its basketball players the opportunity to display their talents in tournament-style formatting so that they may increase their draft stock going into the upcoming season in either the NBA or the WNBA.
Colleges can gain revenue from other aspects of campus life, but these athletes may never get the opportunity again to show professional scouts exactly what they are capable of. Especially in the case of Seniors who had their seasons cut short due to COVID-19.
There are players like Obi Toppin and Sabrina Ionescu who have already been able to impress their peers and professional scouts alike. But, for players like Cassius Winston, Kaleb Wesson, Rickea Jackson or Kiana Williams, who have all had impressive seasons, they will not be able to make a run in the tournament to show off their abilities.
Winston, a senior guard from Michigan State, is more of a household name than the other three and he should have no issue being drafted but as of right now he is projected to go outside of the first round. Although Winston has had an impressive career at Michigan State, he is an example of a player who could have used the tournament to boost his draft stock. Wesson, Jackson and Williams are all talented players, but because of the cancelling of March Madness they will not be able to play on the national stage. Wesson averaged 14.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and shot 44% from the field for the Ohio State Buckeyes this year and seemed poised to have a great tournament. Jackson, a freshman at Mississippi State averaged 15.1 points while shooting 48% inside the arc. In her first season Jackson was set up to be the starting point guard for the ninth ranked team in Women's college basketball. Yes, she is only a freshman and will have more chances ahead of her, but the tournament would have been the perfect time for Jackson to show she is not just some freshman. Also, Williams, the junior from Stanford averaged 15.0 points while shooting 41% from two-point range. She is the perfect example of an athlete who is at a disadvantage due to the loss of play in March. Williams is not the most talented nor the most highly recruited player she wishes to be, but she is a leader on her team, starting all 33 games. A leader who could have guided her team to an impressive tournament run.
COVID-19 is something not to be taken lightly and it is inspiring to see the courage that organizations like the NCAA have to cancel their seasons, because sports are so influential to life and because of this courage citizens have become more cautious of the virus and how to avoid it. With that being said, it is disappointing for both athletes and their fans that these events are being cancelled because of how influential sports are. Not only that, but some of these athletes, specifically athletes like Winston, Wesson, Jackson and Willaims are losing opportunities to improve the longevity of their careers.