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Omicron affecting local sports schedule

SFC women forced to cancel first two NEC contests

December 29, 2021 John Torenli, Sports Editor
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On the eve of their much-anticipated Northeast Conference opener on Remsen Street, the St. Francis Brooklyn women’s basketball team found out it would have to wait until the new year to jump into league action.

The NEC announced Tuessday that the Terriers (4-6) were forced to cancel their home games against both Merrimack on Wednesday and Central Connecticut on New Year’s Eve at the Pope Center due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

With the omicron variant wreaking havoc across the nation, the NEC instituted its Cancellation and Forfeit Policy earlier this week.

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The policy will force the team that is unable to field a team to forfeit the contest, leaving the Terriers with back-to-back conference losses despite not having played an NEC contest yet.

Both Merrimack and CCSU will get wins on their NEC records, even though they never even had to travel to Brooklyn to notch the victory.

SFC also had to cancel its game here last Thursday vs. Loyola-Maryland, though that game did not count as a loss on the team’s overall record.

The Terriers will look to field a full and healthy squad on Jan. 6, when they visit St. Francis-Pennsylvania for their first conference road game.

Going forward, the league ruled that if both teams are unable to compete due to COVID-19 issues, each squad would receive a loss on their record.

The NEC also expanded its postseason format, adding a ninth team to the league’s tournament field. Last year, only four teams qualified for the NEC tourney.

The conference does reserve the right to reassess the policy at any point during the 2021-22 season, giving due consideration to the latest NCAA and CDC guidelines, and state/local health indicators.

At press time, the SFC men’s team was still scheduled to tip-off its NEC slate on Wednesday night at Merrimack.

The LIU women’s basketball team was still scheduled to host its NEC opener vs. Merrimack on Flatbush Avenue. Photo courtesy of LIU Athletics

The Long Island University men’s team was ready to visit Sacred Heart on Wednesday while the women’s team was prepared to host SHU here on Flatbush Avenue at the Wellness Center.

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LIU Athletics Director Dr. William E. Martinov Jr. announced Tuesday that Ryan Kelly has joined the Shark family as Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Administration.

Kelly comes to LIU from the American Athletic Conference, where he spent three years on the staff as the Director of Football Operations.

The Norwich College graduate served as the associate director of football operations at Baylor University from 2016-18.

Kelly coordinated all aspects of the Bears’ football program, including facilities and operations, and was the team’s liaison with Baylor’s grounds crew, equipment, media relations, academic and athletic training staff, according to a school-issued release.

Ryan Kelly is the new Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Administration at Long Island University. Photo courtesy of LIU Athletics

He also assisted in the planning and coordination of all team travel, and was the Bears’ liaison with NFL clubs.

The Sharks also added Michael Woo as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance.

Woo, an honors student and basketball player at Lynn University, served as Assistant Director of Academic and Membership Affairs at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 2019-21.

His responsibilities at the NCAA included processing interpretations and waivers, serving as a liaison to various committees within the NCAA governance structure and helping to oversee the annual coach’s certification curriculum.

Prior to joining the NCAA, Woo held positions in student-athlete services at both Indiana University and Georgia Tech.


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