The COVID-19 Impact: Sports Link Edition

BY MASON PLUMMER | Lead Writer | Ball State Sports Link

As a journalist, and a sports journalist at that, the past eight months have been life-changing in more ways than one. 

Since moving back to campus and getting into the swing of classes, one word has been in my mind: Eerie.

From everyone wearing masks, to being seated in the corners of classrooms alone, the entire vibe on campus is one that, at times, is frightening and one that no one could have imagined less than a year ago. This is the new reality though, at least for now, and we are making the absolute best of it. 

I am now in my senior year and have joined Ball State Sports Link, but due to a recent decision from the conference Ball State is affiliated with, the MAC (Mid-American Conference), there are no sports to cover here on campus.

Being a part of Sports Link was something that I dreamed about since before I was even accepted into Ball State, but now I am extremely limited in what I can do. 

My inability to cover sports at the moment pales in comparison to some of the events that are happening in the world at the moment, but it still matters. COVID-19 has affected each and every person on the planet in one way or another and this is mine. 

Sports have been my passion in life since I can remember and while they are now (somewhat) back, there were a few months where it was genuinely possible that there would not be sports of any kind for the next calendar year or more and that shook me to my core.

I have known I wanted to be a sports journalist for what seems like forever and this is the time where I planned to continue to improve my personal portfolio and show various publications what I was capable of. That is, until there were no sports for months across the country and in some cases such as at Ball State, there are still none at all. 

Over the summer, I continued my work for Sports Link, covering various stories such as former Ball State star Danny Pinter being drafted to the NFL, and the new indoor practice facility being constructed. I did this in the hopes that I would find my groove and get comfortable with the players and coaches at Ball State all leading into the fall where I could not wait to be the lead writer at Sports Link. Then, it all came crashing down.

We have discussed the various possibilities with what we can do still as a Sports Link crew and those possibilities and creativity has been endless, but it is still not what it was or could be pre-COVID. There has been immense positivity around the group all things considered, and we are still extremely excited to see what we can throw together this semester. 

Sports Link as a whole has decided to keep a ‘glass half full’ attitude towards the situation we are dealing with and we are all absolutely committed to still giving students and fans of Ball State our absolute best. The truth is, people need an escape from the negativity in this world and for many, that is sports. 

Even though Ball State may not have sports this fall, we are still committed to bringing you the stories from the amazing Cardinals student-athletes that are still working tirelessly to make their dreams come true. These athletes still deserve to have their stories told and produced in a way that only Sports Link can.

We are all so excited to continue our coverage of Ball State Athletics (and some local high schools) and we hope you’ll join us for the ride. There are some great projects in the works right now that you don’t want to miss.