America East Conference Postpones Fall Sports for Coming Semester

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America East Championships Photo Courtesy: Chandler Brandes

The America East Conference announced Friday that it will postpone fall athletic competition in the fall semester. That includes the “postponement, not cancellation, of all America East fall sport athletics competition and championships.”

What happens with winter sports, including swimming, will be determined at a later date. The conference’s goal is to develop a working group to study plans for competition. It allows individual institutions to use their discretion on permitting practices and training during the fall semester for winter sports, within NCAA and local health guidelines.

Seven schools – Binghamton, Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook, UMBC, Vermont and VMI – compete in the conference for swimming.

“The past few weeks have been unquestionably difficult in working our way through the process that led us to this outcome,” America East Board of Presidents Chair Dr. Havidan Rodriguez of the University at Albany said in a league statement. “However, this proactive decision by our members to postpone fall sport athletics competition for the duration of the first semester is in the best interest of all America East student-athletes, athletics departments and university communities. Right now, it is imperative that each of our institutions can safely reopen to their broader campus communities and this decision supports those efforts. We have always maintained that the health, safety and well-being of everyone within our conference, especially our student-athletes, is paramount. Unfortunately, given the current persistence, restrictions and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear to us now that this difficult, but responsible decision must be made.”

From America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen:

“This was not an easy conclusion for our membership to reach but it was made with care and diligence and with health and safety as the highest priority. For the last several months, we have been working extensively with our membership to prepare for the fall sports season, including developing health and safety protocols, revising schedules and creating contingency plans. We have remained optimistic that we could safely conduct a fall sports season, however, there are several external factors outside of our institutions’ control that will limit and disrupt our ability to deliver our student-athletes an experience they deserve. While several outstanding issues and questions remain, we are hopeful that creative thinking and solutions will emerge in concert with improved measures to reduce the risk associated with COVID-19 as the academic year unfolds.”

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