America East Conference postpones soccer season to the spring
The America East Conference has postponed the fall soccer season into the spring semester, the Board of Presidents announced today.
Although no competition will take place at all during the fall semester, student-athletes will be able to continue with various activities, in accordance with NCAA rules and local and state health and safety guidelines. Those activities may include training, practice, strength and conditioning, athletic training and academic support, among others.
The conference is expected to begin the planning process immediately for scheduling spring competition.
On the men’s soccer side, the America East Conference features the following 8 programs: New Hampshire, Vermont, Hartford, UAlbany, UMass Lowell, Binghamton, UMBC and Stony Brook.
The America East women’s soccer contingent features 9 total teams, including the 8 listed above along with the University of Maine.
See below for the full statement released today by the America East Conference:
BOSTON – With the health and safety of its member institutions’ communities, the importance of successful institutional campus reopenings and the overall well-being of its student-athletes as its top priorities, the America East Conference Board of Presidents announced today a postponement, not cancellation, of all America East fall sport athletics competition and championships for the duration of the first semester.
With this announcement, the conference will develop plans for a competitive structure in the second semester and will identify a working group to begin studying this immediately. Athletics activities and student-athlete services for fall sports including but not limited to training, practice, strength and conditioning, athletic training and academic support will be permitted at each institution’s discretion in adherence with NCAA rules and local and state health and safety guidelines.
The decision and framework for fall sport operations were unanimously approved by the league’s Board of Presidents.
Further, the conference will continue to monitor the landscape and conditions surrounding the pandemic, locally, regionally and nationally, and make any decisions or announcements at a later date regarding its winter sports, as necessary.
Statement from America East Board of Presidents Chair, Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany
“The past few weeks have been unquestionably difficult in working our way through the process that led us to this outcome. 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.”
Statement 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.”