Student-athletes worry about future of college sports at Sac State

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Many college athletes in the California State University system are wondering about their future after the CSU chancellor announced Tuesday campuses will be holding mostly online classes for the fall term.

Cameron Skatterbo is a local high school star running back who has committed to attend Sacramento State in the fall.

“It sucks, no prom, no graduation. Everything is going to be online,” Skatterbo told FOX40. “Spent a lot of money on a tux so it’s tough not being able to have the experience everyone else has.”

As bad as Skattebo’s senior year is going at Rio Linda High School, he realizes he may not be able to play football his freshman year at Sac State.

“Honestly, I’m ready to play already. So, I want it to end today,” said Skattebo. “Hopefully move forward and still have a football season and that would be great.”

Sacramento State Athletics Director Mark Orr said during the pandemic, nothing is for certain.

“We still have to do our work and make plans to ensure if and when we do return to athletics practices and competition, we’re doing that in a safe way that meets all the public health standards,” said Orr.

According to Orr, department officials are looking at the possibility of holding games without an audience.

Whatever Sac State decides, that approach may be vastly different from the other schools in the eight other states in their conference.

“What is applicable to Sacramento State may be very different from than what’s applicable to Portland State or the University of Montana,” explained Orr.

Meanwhile, Skattebo must also adapt to attending his college classes next fall almost entirely online.

“I don’t mind online classing,” said Skattebo. “But I would rather do it in person because that’s kind of how I learn.”

Virtual classrooms will be new for most teachers as well.

Jared Stein is the vice president of higher education strategy for Canvas, a learning management software used by thousands of schools nationwide.

“Only about half of college and university professors have ever taught a fully online course before,” Stein told FOX40. “When we go to campus and we go to a classroom, we kind of get in that mindset that we’re ready to learn. So, students should set aside a space where they can learn and make sure their computer and their technology is all ready to go.”

To stay prepared for football, Skattebo has been practicing five times a week but he admits it has been difficult staying motivated alone.

“When you have more people around you, you try to outwork them and when you’re just at home by yourself you don’t ever feel like you’re doing as good or good enough,” said Skattebo. “I just can’t wait to play football.”

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