As school began on March 12th, students were buzzing over the widespread impact of COVID-19. Specifically, there were rumors that New York State was considering the cancellation of the spring sports season.
The rumors stemmed from a story on an Instagram account titled “section_3_athletics” that was making the claim that New York State was considering this. They stated, “there is a strong possibility that the season will be cancelled.”
The account is not an official Section III or New York State outlet, nor is it associated with any major local news outlets. They didn’t publicly post a source, but when asked, they claimed that Section V officials were their source.
This rumor is completely false. There have been no formal discussions of cancelling the spring season by Section III, and Jamesville-DeWitt coaches have been informed by the school athletic department that the rumors are false and only stem from the hoax post made by the account. The Executive Director of Section 3, John Rathbun, confirmed that there is no validity to the rumor. “That post on Instagram was not from Section III.”
The quick spread of the false rumor shows how major news events like the spread of COVID-19 can increase the spread of misinformation.
This is not to say that COVID-19 isn’t causing any cancellations or damage. The NBA and MLS are suspending their seasons indefinitely. Conference tournaments for NCAA basketball are also impacted, with the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, and numerous other conferences choosing to cancel their end-of-season tournaments. The NCAA has even announced that no fans will be allowed to attend the NCAA Tournament.
Spring seasons for colleges are also affected already. The Ivy League and Patriot League have cancelled their spring sport seasons.
So is it possible that school sporting events could be impacted at J-D? Yes, it’s possible given what is going on with college and professional sports. But as of press time on March 12, no official sources have stated this as a possibility, and the rumor put out by the Instagram account is not true. No decisions or even formal discussions over a drastic decision like this have occurred.