Games are postponed throughout Maryland

Racetracks closed

schools' plans on hold


September 12, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The national crisis that unfolded yesterday resulted in the prompt postponement of college, high school and other sporting events throughout Maryland, with decisions concerning the rest of the week's activities put on hold.

Public high schools statewide closed early yesterday, automatically postponing all of yesterday's athletic events, with private schools in the area following suit.

"Parents are anxious, officials are anxious," said Ron Belinko, coordinator of athletics for the Baltimore County public schools. "Let's face it - it's been a traumatic experience for everyone. Parents are working for businesses that have been shut down. There's a state of emergency. Parents feel at this time of crisis in the nation that they want their youngsters home with them."

Anne Arundel public schools announced early yesterday afternoon that school will be closed today, while Baltimore's public schools will reopen today, with athletic contests still undetermined.

A light college schedule, along with many team practices, also were postponed yesterday.

The Maryland Jockey Club closed both Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park for live racing and simulcasting yesterday and today.

The games were an obvious afterthought.

"Being a history teacher years ago, I was in a classroom when [John F.] Kennedy was shot and also old enough when World War II ended," said Joe Boylan, Loyola College's director of athletics. "There's no one day in American history that will have the loss of life as this one has had. Right now, games aren't important."

In a statement released on its Web site concerning coming intercollegiate contests, the NCAA said conferences and individual schools have authority to determine whether to play any regular-season games. The NCAA will provide assistance to college presidents and conference commissioners in making those decisions.

"The games themselves are insignificant in the face of what has happened today," NCAA president Cedric Dempsey said yesterday. "Our focus is entirely on the safety of student-athletes, athletic personnel and fans. We urge schools to make sound decisions about proceeding with contests today and in the coming days."

Said Boylan: "We're going to look at the games, see what's going on nationally and consult with the teams we're playing. We're going to go day by day, but right now we're leaning toward not playing games this weekend. That's not yet determined, though."

The University of Wyoming volleyball team had been en route to Baltimore yesterday afternoon to play UMBC tonight and then move on to compete in the Georgetown Classic over the weekend, but the flight was turned around.

At the University of Maryland, College Park, classes and practices went on as scheduled yesterday. But the Atlantic Coast Conference announced that all intercollegiate athletic events through tomorrow involving ACC teams were postponed.

The next scheduled event in College Park - Friday's men's soccer FILA Maryland Classic - is still on, and the football team continued to prepare for Saturday's home game against West Virginia. The Terps' field hockey team is planning to travel by bus to Amherst, Mass., instead of by plane to its game against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon.

There was no word about the status of Navy's football game against Northwestern, scheduled for Saturday in Evanston, Ill.

Sun staff writers Katherine Dunn and Christian Ewell contributed to this article.

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