Big East Conference postpones fall sports
The Big East has postponed its fall sports season, becoming the latest major NCAA Division I conference to do so this week.
With Wednesday’s announcement, the Big East joins the Big Ten and Pac-12, among others, in calling off all fall competition. The conference is set to begin exploring alternatives for potentially re-scheduling for the spring semester.
During the fall, student-athletes will still be allowed to participate in various team activities, such as practices, strength and conditioning sessions, and team meetings, consistent with all relevant regulations.
The Big East is home to some of the top college soccer programs in the country, including the reigning NCAA men’s champion, Georgetown. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese issued the following statement on the news that his team will wait until 2021 to defend their national title:
Membership in the Big East features the same 10 programs for both men’s and women’s soccer: Xavier, Georgetown, Butler, Villanova, DePaul, Providence, Marquette, Creighton, St. John’s and Seton Hall.
See below for the full press release from the Big East:
NEW YORK – Due to the unprecedented and continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIG EAST Conference and its member institutions have announced that fall sports competition will not be conducted in 2020.
The Conference will assess alternative options to stage fall sports contests during the spring of 2021.
The decision was made in consultation with the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, an intra-conference medical advisory group that includes administrators, doctors, athletic trainers, student-athletes and national experts in global pandemics and infectious diseases.
“The decision to not hold fall sports competition was not made lightly,” said Chair of the BIG EAST Board of Directors and Villanova University President the Reverend Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “Athletics play an integral role in the student, alumni and fan experience at each of our institutions, and we were all hoping to allow the fall seasons to move forward. However, given the guidance of the BIG EAST COVID-19 Task Force, this decision, while disappointing, was made with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff in mind. The well-being of our community members are, and will continue to be, our priority and focus.”
“This very difficult decision came after an exhaustive review by our Presidents and Athletics Directors and followed consideration of NCAA guidance, COVID-19 case counts and trend lines nationally and in BIG EAST communities, and the many unknowns surrounding testing availability, turnaround time and travel restrictions in our 11 locales,” said BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman. “We take pride in the high-level competition and experiences we provide to our fall sports student-athletes, and we share their deep disappointment that this will not be a normal year. Our plans for men’s and women’s basketball and other sports are unaffected at this time.”
Other details are as follows:
- The sports affected are: men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey. Sports that are not sponsored by the BIG EAST Conference are not affected.
- The fall competition for sports in their non-traditional seasons, which includes baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s tennis, will not be held.
- During the fall months, BIG EAST student-athletes will be allowed to participate in various team activities, such as practices, strength and conditioning sessions, and team meetings, consistent with individual campus policies, public health guidelines and NCAA and Conference regulations.
- The BIG EAST COVID Task Force will continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions across the country and in BIG EAST communities. Decisions on winter and spring sports schedules will be made at a later time.