Message to the Campus Community: Fall Athletics

July 14, 2020 BK LI

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic, a number of colleges and universities across the nation — with at least two in our own Skyline Conference — have recently announced they are opting out of athletic competition for at least the fall 2020 semester. The reason for this is clear: college-aged adults throughout the country have been increasingly affected by the virus, and the transmission of COVID-19 occurs with even more frequency and intensity during periods of physical exertion, especially when there is no social distancing possible, as would be the case for our competitive athletes.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be my highest priority. For these reasons, and in consultation with our own athletic directors, as well as our Vice President for Student Life and Campus Services Shantey Hill-Hanna and many others, I have decided it is in the best interest of the SJC community to cancel all athletic competition for the fall semester. Please know that this very serious and unprecedented step was not made lightly. Even so, while I feel strongly that this course of action is required to protect our students from being unnecessarily exposed to the virus, this approach will allow them to continue their college careers — both academically and athletically. 

To ensure that student athletes can remain engaged, we will still be allowing athletic teams to meet and to have limited practice opportunities when safely possible. This level of participation is fully allowable by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and student athletes will not be charged with a season of eligibility in doing so. In the coming weeks, our athletics staff will determine the feasibility of conducting small group skill instruction and/or practices in accordance with NCAA regulations, and additional information will be available. Please be sure to visit our re-opening webpage for updates. 

I remain optimistic about the future, and despite these challenges I know that our athletic programs will continue to thrive, as they have so wonderfully in the past. Further announcements about athletics for the spring 2021 semester will be forthcoming as more details emerge and we assess the situation in the coming months.