MANSFIELD, Mass. (WTNH) — The Northeast-10 athletic conference announced Thursday that sports will be suspended for the remainder of the calendar year due to COVID-19 concerns.
The decision impacts the University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University, among other conference schools.
In a statement Thursday, the conference said it’s Council of Presidents voted unanimously on the decision:
The Northeast-10 Conference Council of Presidents is united in its commitment to supporting local and state efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Campus resocialization guidelines – including restrictions on student and staff travel, social distancing requirements and limits on group gatherings, are being undertaken so that campuses can support in-person engagement and education. Aiding our member campuses in their reopening efforts is critical and while athletics is an integral part of campus life, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our NE10 community, including our student-athletes, staff and our towns and cities. As such, we have made the difficult decision that intercollegiate athletics competition has been suspended through the end of the 2020 fall semester. We are committed to exploring alternate playing seasons for our fall sports during the 2020-21 academic year, if it is deemed safe. We do not take this decision lightly and understand its impact. Our campus communities will do everything we can to support the well-being of our student-athletes this fall as we navigate these uncertain times together.Northeast-10 Conference statement
“The decision to suspend our fall season was certainly not made lightly,” said University of New Haven Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger. “I assure you that our coaches, administrators, and myself, advocated strongly to play this upcoming season. However, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community is our foremost priority.”
“This is a very unfortunate decision by the NE10 but I agree that it is necessary if we want to work towards providing a safe environment for our student-athletes,” SCSU Director of Athletics Jay Moran said. “Conversations among the Council of Presidents and the athletic directors in the NE10 were consistently focused on a return to competition, but we ultimately had no choice but to suspend competition for the time being. I know this announcement will be very upsetting to our student-athletes, coaches and staff. My goal now is returning to competition on Jan. 1, 2021.”
The conference is targeting the spring 2021 semester to play both winter and spring sports if circumstances allow for games to be played at that point.