University of Michigan-Dearborn athletes fighting to play this spring after season cancellation

The university announced the cancellation on Feb. 17

University of Michigan-Dearborn athletes fighting to play this spring
University of Michigan-Dearborn athletes fighting to play this spring

DEARBORN – University of Michigan-Dearborn athletes made a plea Thursday after the university cancelled spring sports season for the second straight year.

UPDATE on Feb. 19, 2021: University of Michigan-Dearborn athletics will play this spring

The decision was made Wednesday despite other schools in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference continuing on with their sports.

“Initially, I was very angry,” said student athlete Madelin Skene.

When Skene and the rest of her softball teammates received an email Wednesday canceling the spring sports season again, she said it was heartbreaking. Skene is a two-time captain and plays third base.

“Back in December, I got a shoulder surgery done just so I could play in my senior year, and now it just got taken away from me for really no reason at all,” said senior outfielder Melissa Charbonneau.

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According to the university, the reason for cancellation was that other schools were not planning to adhere to COVID safety protocols. However, Skene started making calls of her own and shared her findings at Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting.

“Other schools in our conference have confirmed with us that they said they were willing to do whatever they needed to in order to play us based off of our safety expectations,” she said at the virtual meeting. “All in all, Chancellor Grasso and whoever else concedes to him is responsible for all these college careers that have been ruined.”

U of M-Dearborn Chancellor Domenico Grasso announced during the meeting that after some more discussions, the decision to cancel the season might have some late-game drama.

“New information has come to light, so we are as soon as possible going to confer with our chief health officer and revisit the decision in light of the new information,” Grasso said at the Board of Regents meeting.

“The biggest thing is that we are finally heard and actually being listened to this time, instead of just told to keep our mouth shut and do what we’re told to,” Skene said.

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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.