Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Since Dowling College has closed and filed for federal bankruptcy protection, questions remain about what will become of its two campuses in Oakdale and Shirley—but so far, there are few clues.The deadline is March 27 to bid on the historic 25-acre main campus in Oakdale, the former William Kissam Vanderbilt estate overlooking the Connetquot River. An auction is scheduled for March 31. Last month the Oakdale Historical Society submitted a petition with more than 2,000 signatures to the Town of Islip in the hopes of preserving the 110-room mansion known as Idle Hour when it was built in 1899 as a historic landmark. It’s unclear whether the town will act on the request. Most recently, attorneys overseeing Dowling’s assets during the bankruptcy proceedings filed paperwork in Central Islip federal court soliciting suggestions on what to do with the college’s 105-acre campus in Shirley, including plans to subdivide the property for development.“Now that it is no longer an educational institution, our main focus will be to market the significant real estate assets for maximum value and for the benefit of the many stakeholders of Dowling College,” said Robert Rosenfeld, of Manhattan-based RSR Consulting, LLC, who was hired as chief restructuring officer of Dowling.Other small private colleges nationwide have also shuttered recently for reasons similar to Dowling, which blamed its demise after 48 years on increasing debt, declining enrollment and high turnover in leadership. Briarcliffe College, which has campuses in Bethpage and Patchogue, announced last year that it’s closing in 2018.Dowling had announced plans to close in May, then reversed course when it appeared a buyer would bail it out. But it ultimately shut its doors in August after its oversight agency, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, revoked the college’s accreditation last summer. Actively enrolled students were forced to transfer and about 400 faculty members were laid off.In some of the most recent court paperwork filed in the case, attorneys representing Dowling got approval from Judge Robert Grossman to hire Ronkonkoma-based FPM Group, an engineering consultant, to study how best to use the Shirley campus land, which is not officially for sale yet. The company will prepare three alternates for using the land, including of a mixed-use development, conduct traffic and environmental studies, and meet with Town of Brookhaven officials to discuss the plans. The planning will be funded by two of Dowling’s biggest creditors: Oppenheimer Funds and ACA Financial Guarantee Corp.“Throughout the master planning phase… [the creditors] will be involved in the reviews and decisions regarding the ultimate planned development of the property,” Kevin Phillips, CEO of FPM, said in court paperwork filed along with the motion.Will such a plan come to fruition? The odds would be the same as predicting who will win the auction for the Oakdale campus.
A former associate of Honda in Greensburg has filed a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.According to the Greensburg Daily News, Clifford W. Holder, an African American male, alleges incidents of discrimination toward black employees of the company.In the lawsuit, filed January 30, Holder alleges that Honda passed over African Americans for promotion, let white employees off with a “slap on the wrist” for racially offensive comments to black associates, and racially offensive graffiti was routinely found in the men’s bathrooms. According to the lawsuit, Honda removed the graffiti but took no action to keep it from happening again.A Honda spokesman disagrees with the allegations, according to the newspaper.Honda said in a statement that the company is committed to diversity in all aspects of business and works to maintain a diverse team of associates.The newspaper also reported that Honda employees took part in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event at Greensburg Elementary School to talk about equality and Civil Rights with students.
Games without fans College basketball experimented without fans in the stands during the conference tournaments, and that could be an option for NFL teams if the risks for spread are too great. Later start date The NFL feasibly could push the regular season back depending on when the threats of COVID-19 decrease across the country. It is an option that can be considered depending on the possibility of later training camp start dates. The NFL has room to adjust as needed. Shortened season The 1982 season was shortened to nine games and the 1987 season was cut to 15 games, but each was because of labor disputes. The NFL could shorten the season, and that could pair well with the new playoff format that includes seven teams in each conference. The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States has led to a complete halt of sporting events in the country and has prompted questions whether the 2020 NFL season will take place. President Donald Trump is among those who believe the NFL season should start on time. “I think it’s whenever we’re ready,” Trump told ESPN.com. “As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports.” The NFL has not released its schedule yet, but here are the factors to consider about whether the season will take place in 2020. No football in 2020? The NFL last postponed games in Week 2 of the 2001 NFL season in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks in New York. As of Monday, there were more than 350,000 cases and 10,000 deaths in the United States as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Timetables for when the virus could peak stretch into the summer months, and that could have a profound effect on the NFL calendar. The most immediate event is the NFL Draft, which is scheduled for April 23-25 in Las Vegas. The draft will be closed to fans, and the format is still being debated as the draft date nears. Teams are preparing for a “fully virtual draft” at home. ESPN’s Adam Schefter also painted a grim scenario for the state of the NFL offseason. “We all want to see the days where we have that distraction of football,” Schefter said. “But OTAs? That’s not happening. The offseason program? That’s not happening. The draft is happening only through the sheer force and determination and lack of foresight. They are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets.” Important dates to consider The offseason OTA calendar will take a hit. Rookie minicamps are May 1-11. The Spring league meeting is May 19-20. Training camps begin in mid-July, and the Hall of Fame Game is scheduled for Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio. The NFL typically releases the regular-season schedule in April, and is expected to reveal the 2020 schedule sometime in early May as it sorts through the logistics of a pandemic. How that unfolds will stem from how long the coronavirus outbreak lasts in the United States. Alternative plans Unlike college football, the NFL has more leeway in terms of pushing back a start date and taking games off the regular schedule. Here are some possible options: