Georgetown basketball returns to court amid calls for athletes to play

November 16, 2020

Members of the Georgetown women's basketball team cheer during a game against Villanova on Sept. 10, 2019. Photo by John Picker

Georgetown basketball teams will return to games this month for the start of the college basketball season on Nov. 25, as announced by the NCAA in September.

The first portion of the Georgetown men’s basketball schedule, presented by MedStar Health, was released on Nov. 13. This year, the Hoyas will play four non-conference home games as well as one away game in Syracuse. They are also scheduled to play in four Big East Conference games (two home and two away).

Back in September, Georgetown gave 30 members of its men’s and women’s basketball teams the option to return to campus, in consultation with its public health advisory group. The team has been practicing since. 

This return comes amid a social media movement calling for Georgetown student-athletes to return to campus and play for the 2020-2021 year. Under the hashtag and Twitter handle #WeWantToPlay, student-athletes are advocating for the university to allow them to make the choice either to play or to opt-out of their seasons, with no penalty or repercussion for those who choose the latter. Hoyas aren’t the only ones using the hashtag, as athletes from other schools call for a return to the field. 

The movement has cited several arguments in support of its cause, emphasizing the unique situation student-athletes are in. Having committed to their sports programs, student-athletes and their advocates believe that the Jesuit tradition of “educating the whole person” should acknowledge athletics as an essential component to their educational experiences, and one that cannot be experienced virtually. Georgetown is the only school in the Big East Conference that has yet to bring all student-athletes to campus, which some say is a decision that is potentially damaging to their futures.

“Time is of the essence. The impact is too great. The value of our athletic experience is too important. Do not let our hard work and sacrifices be in vain,” #WeWantToPlay’s statement reads.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the District, the university announced on Nov. 16 they will be bringing an additional 500 students, mainly seniors, to campus for the spring. Those pushing for the return of student-athletes to campus have made a commitment to continue to follow the guidelines set out by Georgetown and D.C. to protect the health and safety of the Georgetown community. 

The upcoming basketball season, which begins in two weeks, will likely provide a model for what that return could look like.

Andrea Ho
Andrea was the Editorial Board Chair for Fall 2023. She is forever honored and grateful to have been a part of the Georgetown Voice.

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