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UMaine’s Vachon concerned for foreign players due to COVID-19 protocols, travel ban

Maine women's basketball coach Amy Vachon concerned for her foreign players due to COVID-19 protocols and travel bans.
Maine women's basketball coach Amy Vachon concerned for her foreign players due to COVID-19 protocols and travel bans.(Eric Gullickson)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 7:05 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - If there are sports this school year, there is concern at UMaine for their athletes from Europe and Asia.

We spoke with UMaine women’s basketball coach, Amy Vachon, who is extremely impacted by COVID-19 protocols with seven European players on her roster.

Vachon had been concerned about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s decision to deport international students if schools went to full online classes again.

“At the University of Maine we are going to a hybrid model in the fall,” says UMaine head women’s basketball coach Amy Vachon, “What happens if there is a spike and everything shuts down?”

After getting sued by Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a total of 8 federal lawsuits, the Trump administration rescinded the rule.

“The travel ban is still in effect. That’s been in effect since March,” says Vachon, “Our student athletes who went home, specifically to the European union, are not able to enter the United States.”

While their seasons are still up in the air, as far as return to play, UMaine women’s hoops is not the only program impacted with European players unable to return right now. Men’s hockey has 6 players, women’s hockey has 11, Black Bears soccer has 6 players, and men’s basketball has 7 European players.

“A lot of anxiety, a lot of frustration, you know it’s really hard,” says Vachon, “There’s been so many things in the last few months that we cannot control. That’s a really hard thing. This is just one more, one more of those. so not being able to return to their second home. You know, a place they love so dearly, to be with their teammates, it’s tough.”

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