The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that it was suspending all athletic events and championships through the end of the fall semester.
(Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)
The PSAC joined a growing list of collegiate athletic conferences that have suspended or canceled fall sports. The Ivy League and Patriot League at the Division I level, and fellow Division II conferences the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference voted to suspend their fall seasons.
“The entire conference has worked hard these last few months to prepare for the return of sports to our campuses beginning this fall,” PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray said in a release. “However, it has become apparent that the safe conduct of sports under the guidelines of social distancing is untenable for our members. We cannot place our student-athletes at greater risk than the general student body. Despite our planning and collective efforts, it has become clear that we are not able to do so.”
The PSAC did leave the door open for the opportunity to move fall sports to the spring by suspending the season instead of cancelling it outright.
“We are committed to giving our student-athletes the chance to compete during this academic year,” President of California University of Pennsylvania and chair of the PSAC Board of Directors, Geraldine Jones, said in the release. “Many institutions and conferences are facing the same circumstances as we are, and if it is safe to return to competition, we will work with them and the NCAA to provide our teams with a championship experience during the spring semester. We know this is a huge disappointment for our student-athletes who work so very hard in their sport. This decision was not taken lightly and we feel saddened by having to do so.”
The suspension through the fall semester also means the start of winter sports will be delayed, at the very least. The conference did say it will be looking at ways for individual skill instruction and strength and conditioning to resume by the end of summer.
PSAC member schools include Cal, Edinboro, Clarion, Mercyhurst, Gannon, IUP, Slippery Rock, Bloomsburg, Pitt-Johnston, Seton Hill, Lock Haven, Kutztown, West Chester, Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, Mansfield, Millersville and Shepard.