The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola makes exceptions to CARP protocols for some student-athletes

Loyola makes exceptions to CARP protocols for some student-athletes

During last month’s Campus Assessment and Restriction Period (CARP) involving Campion Towers and Newman East, some student-athletes residing in these buildings were quietly authorized to temporarily stay with teammates living off-campus. This decision, made by Vice President Rob Kelly, allowed some, but not all, student-athletes to play. 

In an email sent to student-athletes on March 19, Kelly confirmed that it was his decision to allow some players to move off-campus during the March 8-21 CARP in the two towers. He wrote: 

“Those temporary moves were not initiated by the student-athletes or coaches themselves, and I take full responsibility for making that decision. It was an error in judgment, and I am sorry that I put the University, Donna, our coaches, and our student-athletes in this difficult position.”

Donna Woodruff, assistant vice president and director of athletics, took responsibility in the same email, regretting that she did not question the changes in policy and its impact. She said:

“I also regret that I did not communicate the decision openly with all of you as we have tried to do in the past. I am very sorry. I believe in the importance of every single one of you as valued members of our One Hound Family.”

According to the email, Kelly and Woodruff are working to “possibly identify more opportunities for relief from CARP” for student-athletes while continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Days before this email, an exchange occurred between Kelly and Stephen Machak ‘21, a member of the swimming and diving team, regarding the issue. On March 13, Machak and a fellow athlete wrote an email to Kelly and President Rev. Brian F. Linnane, saying: 

“It has come to our attention that members of the Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams were afforded privileges by the university for the CARP.” 

They continued: 

“We would like an explanation as to why only these teams were afforded these options, while athletes on other teams were left with the disappointing news that they wouldn’t be able to practice or compete with their teammates, especially as Championships are coming up. Overall, we also feel that athletes that live in CARP-affected residence halls, based on the frequency of testing we go through each week and the protocols we are already following in practice and competition, be allowed to practice and compete with their teams.”

The athletes also asked if the decision was properly vetted by Student Health Services.

Kelly responded about an hour later, stating that they would come up with a “more nuanced plan” to address all athletes. He wrote:

“That said, would you rather we cancel all athletic programs in the interim? We are trying to do the best we can given the information we have at any moment in time. And as they say, no good deed goes…”

Ending the email, Kelly stated:

“All I can say is sorry…we are trying to stop community spread of the virus AND give our programs a chance to continue to thrive.”  

Machak felt that this response was insufficient, telling The Greyhound:

“It seemed like just Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse were able to succeed, and all other sports teams were left out to dry.”  

On March 21, a Zoom meeting was held by Kelly and Woodruff to answer questions about what Kelly referred to as an “error in judgement.”

During this Zoom call, Jacob Denison ‘21, captain of the men’s soccer team, asked if it would be possible for all athletes to temporarily live off-campus during any future CARPs. According to Denison, the hosts responded that athletes should have the same protocols as all students. Denison also reported that concerns were raised by the hosts about Loyola not knowing the location of athletes who have temporarily moved, which could result in a conflict with the city’s housing policies

Denison was unhappy with this response, noting that the athletic department had already made the decision to do so for the lacrosse teams, regardless of any housing agreements. He said:

“So then what was the thought process with allowing lacrosse players to leave? It didn’t matter if they violated housing laws then?” 

According to the captain, every time first-years on the soccer team went into CARP, they had to follow the regular protocols, meaning they could not practice, train, or play. On the topic of excused CARP restrictions for the lacrosse teams, Denison said:

“They tried to keep it lowkey but I’m not sure how they thought that would work when the game was being streamed on ESPN+.”

Loc San ‘24, a player on the men’s soccer team, was also unsatisfied with the athletic department’s response. San and his fellow first-year teammates are concerned that, despite their own negative tests, they won’t get much time on the field due to CARP in their residence halls. He noted that while he and his roommates had to isolate during the soccer game on March 20, parents were allowed to spectate in person. San said:

“Now they’re allowing fans at our games which is super nice, but my parents could go to the game and I couldn’t since I was still in CARP.”

The Loyola athletic regulations on spectators can be found here.  

For San, playing soccer at Loyola this semester has been difficult. He said:

“It’s really frustrating because we can’t even go to the FAC to stay fit, we missed our practices and we missed our first game, it’s hard to stay motivated to do school work when we’re just stuck in our room.”

Athletes from women’s tennis and women’s rowing confirmed that neither of their teams were allowed to move off-campus during CARP. Rebeckah Abraham ‘23, a member of the rowing team, said that during CARP, their team’s affected players had to miss races and were not allowed off-campus. Madison Metzdorf ‘23, a member of the tennis team, stated that because of CARP, their team has been forced to play shorthanded, putting them at a disadvantage. Metzdorf continued: 

“I had to miss over two weeks of practice and conditioning despite testing negative over five times.”  

Molly Robey, assistant director of communications, gave a statement on March 29, saying that the permission given to some student-athletes to move off-campus during CARP was an error that has been addressed. Robey wrote:

“The University’s Policy Group establishes policies for the University community, and the Rapid Response Team works to make sure those policies are applied, communicated, and implemented across the University.”  

Robey restated the rules for CARP protocol, writing that student-athletes who are living in Loyola housing generally need to follow the same rules that all students living in Loyola housing follow for CARP. The only exceptions noted by Robey are if students are fully vaccinated or have tested positive within 90 days. Additionally, over the Easter/Spring Break, Student Health Services allowed some student-athletes to participate in practices and competitions as long as they remained on campus during the break.  

The Greyhound reached out to members of the women’s lacrosse team and the coaches of both teams. Robey provided “a statement regarding your specific questions directed to the lacrosse coaches” on April 8, which said:

“The men’s and women’s lacrosse coaches and their players were following guidance given to them in error.”

Stay up to date with all news at Loyola with The Greyhound.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • AnonymousApr 10, 2021 at 8:23 pm


  • AnonymousApr 9, 2021 at 7:55 pm


Activate Search
Loyola makes exceptions to CARP protocols for some student-athletes