Gallaudet University’s six fall sports teams will not participate in intercollegiate athletics this fall semester. The decision to cancel intercollegiate athletics competition for fall sports was made to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community amid the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gallaudet’s six fall sports include:
- men’s and women’s cross country,
- men’s and women’s soccer, and
- women’s volleyball.
A decision about winter and spring sports competition will be made at a later date.
The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) announced Wednesday that it would cancel the league’s schedule. While football teams can still play independently, Gallaudet has ruled that out. No official announcement has been made by the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), at this time, nor will any future announcements from the conference change Gallaudet’s decision about fall sports.
The decision to cancel competition this fall did not come lightly, and was diligently researched and discussed by university administrators, Student Affairs staff, the Athletic Director, and medical personnel. The perceived risks and consequences associated with the resumption of intercollegiate athletics travel and competition proved too great, at least in the immediate term, given the continued presence of COVID-19.
“Athletic competition is an important part of the Gallaudet University undergraduate experience. We know how tough this situation is to our student-athletes, coaches, and staff and how much they have worked to prepare for the upcoming season, but we are tougher and will get through this together” said Gallaudet Athletic Director Victor Mansure. “We have worked for the past several months on how to return to play sports with the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff as the main focus. Regrettably, this difficult decision was made while keeping those factors in mind.”
The Athletics Department will continue to focus on five areas moving forward, both short-term and long-term:
- Back to Sports,
- Student Success,
- Racial Equity,
- Enrollment, and
- Athletic Operations.
Gallaudet athletic coaches will continue to be there for our current and future student-athletes especially when it comes to academics and wellness. The Athletics Department will still engage with student-athletes this fall semester and is planning on a varying list of online activities including a student lecture series, faculty athletics mentor events, team- and department-specific events, online strength and conditioning videos and programs along with Wellness Wednesday check-ins, and much more.
There will be no in-person Gallaudet intramurals in the fall semester, but there will be several online activities open to the campus community.
The Gallaudet Athletics Department will continue to work and follow federal, District of Columbia, and institutional safety guidelines along with the NCAA’s Sports Science Institute Resocialization of Collegiate Sport Action Plan Considerations, which have recently been revised, to safely bring Bison student-athletes back to campus and sports in the future.
The NCAA Division III Administrative Committee, on July 9, 2020, approved a recommendation from the Division III Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement to provide a blanket waiver in all sports that are unable to reach the 50 percent threshold, providing student-athletes with the option of extending their participation.
Gallaudet will start fall semester classes on August 31, with December 14 slated as the last day of classes. Final examinations will be completed online from December 16 to 18. Fall semester tuition has been reduced by 15 percent for all students.
Gallaudet coaches will continue to recruit student-athletes for the Class of 2025. Prospective student-athletes interested in attending Gallaudet are encouraged to contact the head coach of the sport in which they seek to participate.
If you are a Gallaudet student-athlete and have specific questions about your sport, please contact your head coach directly.
For up-to-date coronavirus information, please visit https://coronavirus.gallaudet.edu.
AVAILABLE STUDENT-ATHLETE SUPPORT SERVICES
- Academic Advisor – Reach out to your academic advisor, request a Student Success Coach or Peer Leader, or contact your major department
- Athletics – Reach out to your coach or the Associate Athletic Director for Student Success
- Athletics Staff Directory: www.gallaudetathletics.com/meetus/staffdirectory/gustaff
- Associate Athletic Director for Student Success Katie Giles Bean: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Office of the Ombuds
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