By Stephen DienerAmongst all of the debates to ensue during the Coronavirus pandemic, there is one that has stood above all the rest.And no, it’s not whether or not Trump wants us to eat Lysol, or how many ice cream bars Pelosi has in her freezer.The most hotly contested issue has been whether or not the lockdown was necessary, or if it was even worth it considering the economic toll it has taken on millions of Americans.I’m not going to pretend like this is an easy question with an easy answer, because it’s not. Both the question and answer have many layers and sub layers to it. So I will boil it down to these simple points…You can get a job back, but you can’t get a life back.The economy will bounce back, but those who lost a loved one because of this virus, young or old, will never see them again.Make no mistake about it, this country has been fighting a war since March 11th and we were all asked to play a part in the battle. Our role was to stay home and to stop the spread of infection. That was the mission and now we are finally turning the tide.I know it has been extremely difficult, maybe for some more than others, but this was the best battle strategy for the situation that we were presented with.Some opponents of this strategy have pointed to Sweden in their success of herd immunity. They kept schools open, bars open, and life moving on. The result so far?… Twenty one thousand cases and close to three thousand deaths. Those in favor of this strategy would say that is a win all things considered.But keep one very important fact in mind when making the Sweden argument.Their population compared to ours does not even begin to compare. At last check, Sweden has a population of 10 million people. To put that into perspective, Florida and New York combine for 40 million Americans alone.Lest we forget the whole point of the “stay home, stay safe” strategy in the first place was to avoid the country’s medical system from becoming overwhelmed with the over 330 million Americans. Could you imagine the entire country looking like New York did at their height of the virus? Not a pretty picture.And now that it hasn’t happened, our reaction is, “well, that wasn’t as bad as they said it was going to be. We did this all for nothing.”Understand something, the plan worked!The worst predictions did not come to pass because we all bought into social distancing and staying home. You win any war by sticking to a battle plan, this has been no different.
Smart gained national attention by rebuilding VCU’s program, going 163-63 over six years and reaching the NCAA Tournament during his last five seasons at the school. The Rams went to the Final Four in 2011 and never won fewer than 26 games under Smart before he left for Texas in 2015.But the Longhorns have been a heavier lift, reaching the NCAA Tournament twice in four tries. Texas went 19-12 this past season without any seniors in the lineup. But the team is just 40-50 in the Big 12 under Smart, who is 90-78 overall with the Longhorns.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-ST. JOHN’S-FIGUEROARed Storm player leaving earlyNEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s wing LJ Figueroa has declared for the NBA draft. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS4th NHL player tests positiveUNDATED (AP) — The number of NHL players who have contracted the coronavirus continues to grow. Vikings re-sign veteran guard Dakota DozierUNDATED (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have re-signed veteran guard Dakota Dozier.The Furman product played in 16 games last season with a career-high four starts. He originally joined Minnesota as a free agent last April.Dozier was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL draft. He has appeared in 54 career games with 11 starts.In other NFL news: Associated Press — USA Curling says additional participants at a tournament this month in Laurel, Maryland, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The United States Curling Association Club National Championships were held March 7-14 at Potomac Curling Club. Fox 5 DC reported that at least 20 people who participated in the event are sick. USA Curling also canceled the 2020 Arena National Championships scheduled for April 27 to May 2 in Gillette, Wyoming. The event will be held there in 2022 instead.— Athletes and musicians took part in an online global music festival organized by the Spanish soccer league that raised about $690,000 for the fight against the coronavirus. Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué, Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in Saturday’s charity event organized to raise funds for the purchase of medical supplies and to support fans confined to their homes.— Spain’s Barcelona soccer team has delivered 30,000 masks to the Catalonia government to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The club says the masks were made in China and donated by insurance company Taiping, a regional partner of the club. Barcelona said the “daily use” masks will be distributed to nursing homes.— Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend have resumed their efforts to raise money for those affected by the new coronavirus. The two had set up a GoFundMe page earlier this week until told by Clemson the site violated NCAA rules against using an athlete’s name, image and likeness for crowd funding. But the NCAA later said Lawrence and other athletes could use such sites to raise money in this case. NFL-NEWS A second Colorado Avalanche player has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says it was informed Friday night, and the unidentified player is in self-isolation.A statement from the Avalanche on Saturday says those who came in close contact with the player have been informed and remain isolated. The team says no other Avalanche player or staff member has shown symptoms at this time.There are now four NHL players known to have tested positive — two with Colorado and two with Ottawa.In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:— The executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Knicks announced James Dolan’s diagnosis Saturday night, saying he has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis. Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus. March 28, 2020 Update on the latest sports — A deal worked out between Major League Baseball and the players doesn’t include details of what a reconfigured schedule would look like. The agreement calls for play to resume “as soon as is practicable” with a goal of completing “the fullest 2020 championship season and postseason that is economically feasible.” It also says there must be no legal restrictions on mass gathering and travel. The two sides agreed to consider playing past the usual end of the postseason in late October, even if it involves using neutral sites and domes. Details were divulged to The Associated Press by people familiar with the agreement.— The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership dues, while others are reeling from event cancellations totaling more than 8,000 across all sports. A database analyzed by The Associated Press shows combined projected losses of more than $121 million in revenue between February and June for 43 of the 50 national governing bodies that responded to a survey from the NGB Council in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.— Naomi Osaka says she is disappointed that the Olympics in her native Japan were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but she supports the decision to delay the Summer Games to 2021. In a posting today on social media, the two-time Grand Slam champion wrote: “Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.” She also addressed “the people of Japan,” saying, “stay strong, hang in there and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right.”— Athletic trainers across the country are changing their routines and joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The National Athletic Trainers Association put together an app aimed at helping trainers assist understaffed hospitals. The app was intended to give health care providers a database to look for help nationwide. More than 950 athletic trainers have signed up over the last week.— A Canadian hockey goalie equipment manufacturer has begun producing medical supplies for hospitals in and around southwestern Ontario. Brian’s Custom Sports in Kingsville initially was approached by public health officials about its surplus of double-sided tape and foam. But when the Ontario government closed nonessential businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the company was asked to change its production. — The Giants have reached a one-year contract agreement with tight end Eric Tomlinson, who split last season with New York, New England and Oakland. Raiders. He appeared in eight games and had one catch. The Giants won’t confirm the deal until Tomlinson passes his physical.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-TEXAS-SMART STAYSUT athletic director: Shaka Smart to remain for next seasonAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Head coach Shaka Smart is getting another season to elevate the Texas men’s basketball program.Longhorns athletic director Chris Del Conte has confirmed that Smart will be back for a sixth season with the team, telling the Austin American-Statesman, “Shaka’s our coach.” School officials say he hasn’t hired an agent and still has the option to return to school. Figueroa can return to school for his final season of eligibility if he withdraws from the draft pool by June 3.Figueroa started 32 games in each of his two seasons with the Red Storm, averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds.HORSE RACING-FLORIDA DERBYTiz the Law wins Derby prepMIAMI (AP) — Tiz the Law ran away in the stretch to easily win the Florida Derby. Tiz the Law wrapped up a spot in the Kentucky Derby field based on the points standings that are used to determine who qualifies for the Run for the Roses. The win at Gulfstream Park was worth 100 points, far more than what will be needed for a chance to run at Churchill Downs if the rescheduled Kentucky Derby goes off as planned in early September.Shivaree was second after going off at 80-1. Shivaree picked up 50 points to likely clinch a spot in the Derby field.Fountain of Youth winner Ete Indien was third in a most unusual race at Gulfstream, where fans were banned, and even owners were told to stay away from the track because of the coronavirus pandemic.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
The countdown has officially begun.Spring break is just days away, and many students have already mentally checked out of class and checked into vacation mode.Whether you’re heading on a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, or simply lounging around Los Angeles next week, remember one thing: Most spring athletes aren’t getting a break.That’s right. The majority of athletes will still be practicing on a daily basis and putting their skills to the test against opponents next week.Although athletes, like all other students, probably deserve a week completely away from class and work (in this case, the field, court or track), it’s an impossible task to accomplish because universities don’t share the same spring break schedules.But just because athletes won’t be getting the spring break we all know and love doesn’t necessarily mean they will be stuck in Los Angeles.As always, being an athlete has an upside.Remember, half of athletes’ games and performances take place on the road, and this is no different during spring break. In fact, many USC teams are traveling away from Southern California next week, and some are headed to some pretty exciting places around the country.So without further delay, here is my top-three list for travel destinations for USC athletes next week.At the top is Hawaii, where the baseball and women’s water polo teams will be headed. After all, who wouldn’t like to be in Hawaii for spring break?Yes, both teams will be headed to Honolulu, and, when they’re not competing in the most tropical state in the country, I’m sure many of the athletes will find time to lie out on the sand, surf, parasail or attend a luau, among other festivities.Sounds pretty fun to me.If I were a member of either of those teams, I wouldn’t be feeling too bad about having to travel with my team for spring break.Coming in second place would be Las Vegas. Those partiers on the men’s golf team will be participating in the Southern Highlands Collegiate this weekend.I think just about everyone would agree that whether you’re in Vegas for work, sports or just vacation time, you’re going to find a way to have fun. Something as simple as walking down the strip on a Friday evening in Vegas could end up being filled with an endless night of laughter and memories.Well, laughter and blurry memories, at least.Just like in Hawaii, a weekend in Vegas sounds like a pretty great way to spend spring break. The only reason it doesn’t top Hawaii on my list is because, if you’re attending USC and of age, you could drive to Vegas just about any weekend you want and enjoy everything Sin City has to offer.After these top-two destinations, there’s a bit of a drop off, but I feel pretty confident in my third and final pick.Rounding out the top three on my list would have to be Durham, N.C. The men’s tennis team is headed to take on Duke.Although some might not understand this pick, I’ve heard absolutely great things about Durham. It’s a college town that has a fun nightlife, great music, and it’s only a few hours away from Atlanta or Washington, D.C. So there are other options if it ends up not living up to its potential. It’s just a couple hours away from the beaches and mountains as well.So it provides many possibilities for fun and entertainment, weather permitting, and that’s why Durham squeezes into my top three, just ahead of Houston (sorry women’s swimming and diving team).After seeing those destinations, you’re probably thinking that being an athlete during spring break isn’t so bad after all.But it must be noted that some athletes will be stuck in Los Angeles next week, and others will be traveling to some not-so-thrilling places in the country (say hello to Provo, Utah, men’s volleyball team).Either way, the bottom line is athletes still have work to do during spring break while the rest of us can simply relax for the most part.It’s just that some athletes get to work in better places than others.“Soft Hands” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or e-mail Jon at [email protected]