Today, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference announced the cancellation of a number of fall and winter sports during the Fall 2020 semester in the interest of ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes and our campus communities.
Our coaches and administration have worked hard since March on plans to safely return to the fields of competition this fall. We have engaged in weekly meetings and working groups to find a path to return student-athletes safely to the sports they love. Associate Director of Athletics Mark Lesako served as Chair of Health and Safety Working Group, while Assistant Director of Athletics and Head Baseball Coach Jeff Mountain was a member of the Financial Working Group. I would like to thank Mark and Jeff for their important work.
We developed comprehensive protocols for returns to play for every varsity fall sport, as well as new health and safety policies for our indoor and outdoor athletics facilities. Unfortunately, the health crisis continues to provide challenges which prevent a full return to safe athletic environments this fall in the sports of men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, football, volleyball, field hockey (Empire 8 Conference), and men’s water polo (Collegiate Water Polo Association).
We will continue to work with our fellow conference members and the state of Pennsylvania as we look beyond the fall, and we will communicate those plans as soon as we can. In the meantime, our plan is for these teams to be able to practice and gather this fall under the supervision of their coaches and in compliance with all national, regional, and local safety standards across campus.
We also have the opportunity to support our teams and student-athletes who will likely be in competition this fall. Our women’s tennis and men’s golf teams will start journeys to defend their conference championships. Women’s golf, men’s tennis, and the possibility of a season switch for men’s and women’s outdoor track & field will likely also help kick off the athletic season for us as long as the health situation allows us to do so.
As we look forward to the start of the semester, a fall on this beautiful campus without a full athletic lineup is heartbreaking. However, we know W&J Presidents thrive best when we are together. Our coaching staff, our sports medicine team and our administration is eager to see all of you back here on campus. We will start working on what we can control in order to be at our best when the competition returns this spring.
Stay safe, stay focused, and Go Presidents!