Decision comes after recent Little East Conference announcement
Earlier today, the Little East Conference announced it would not conduct regular-season conference competitions or championships for fall sports during the fall 2020 semester. This decision affects six programs at UMass Dartmouth: men’s & women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, men’s & women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The Little East also announced that the basketball conference season will begin after January 1, 2021.
On July 16, the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference suspended competition in all its league-sponsored sports for the fall 2020 semester - a decision that affects the Corsair football program. The MASCAC is formulating a plan to conduct fall sports sponsorship during the spring 2021 semester, and the league will have an announcement on the status of fall semester competition for its winter programs (including men’s ice hockey) at a later date.
Though the Little East is allowing member institutions to participate in the non-conference competition this fall, UMass Dartmouth will not explore that option. Intercollegiate competition involving all Corsair fall and winter athletic programs will be suspended through December 31, 2020, which additionally affects five other teams: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s indoor track & field.
UMass Dartmouth is planning to provide student-athletes with on-campus conditioning and training opportunities during the upcoming semester to support their physical and mental well-being. The NCAA has granted a blanket waiver that will afford these opportunities without using a year of athletic eligibility. Members of the Corsair Athletic Training staff and UMass Dartmouth Health Services are working closely to finalize protocols, and additional details will be provided from those offices in the coming weeks.
As part of the optional conditioning, strength training, and individual skill development opportunities in adherence to the NCAA Sports Science Institute's Resocialization Guidelines, the Department of Athletics & Recreation is formulating plans for all student-athletes to conduct similar activities during the fall 2020 semester. Those plans will be provided in the coming weeks before the start of classes.
“This was certainly a difficult decision that the Little East President’s Council had to make, but the safety and wellbeing of our students continues to be our primary focus,” UMass Dartmouth Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance David Gingerella said of today’s announcement. “I share the disappointment of our athletic community that this health crisis has once again denied competitive opportunities, and though this decision is painful, it is unquestionably the right one for the wellbeing of all involved.”
On July 6, Chancellor Johnson announced UMass Dartmouth’s plans for re-opening and course delivery for the fall 2020 semester. That information, which will be continually updated before the start of classes, can be accessed on the UMassD Fall Planning website.
"The decision to not compete this fall is painful, but it is the right one," Director of Athletics & Recreation Amanda Van Voorhis said of the announcement. "Our primary responsibility is to protect the best interests of health and safety for all of our student-athletes. We want to provide the best possible experience, and that must be done in a responsible manner."
Additional information will be updated continuously in the coming weeks and can be accessed at www.corsairathletics.com.