NESCAC cancels all fall sports

Students walk on the campus of Amherst College in January.
Students walk on the campus of Amherst College in January. –Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) has canceled its fall sports season for the upcoming school year, according to an announcement made Friday afternoon.

The respective presidents of the 11 NESCAC institutions released a joint statement, saying the changes to campus life implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic led them to their unanimous decision.

“In keeping with public health guidance, each of our institutions has put in place physical distancing protocols, limits on travel on and off campus, and limits on the size of on-campus gatherings,” read the statement. “Consistent with these policies, the NESCAC presidents have decided unanimously, though with great reluctance, that NESCAC conference competition for fall sports must be canceled for fall 2020.”

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Earlier in June, two NESCAC schools, Williams College and Bowdoin College, independently announced their plans to nix the fall sports season. The other member institutions — Amherst College, Bates College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University — now have followed suit.

According to the joint statement, all 11 schools have agreed to “modify” certain NESCAC rules so that coaches and student-athletes may be able to organize practices outside of the traditional season.

“Athletics remains an important part of the experience for our students,” the statement continued. “Conference members will continue to work together to seek creative ways to provide meaningful athletic opportunities for our students during the upcoming academic year.”

Earlier this week, the Ivy League placed all sports on hold until January 2021.


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