July 21, 2020-Emory & Henry, ODAC Announce Changes To Fall 2020 Semester Competition Schedule
Amidst continuing health and safety concerns due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Emory & Henry College and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) have announced plans to postpone conference competition and championships for fall and winter sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year (December 31).
“With the information available to us today regarding the continued spread of the virus, we simply do not believe we can create and maintain an environment for intercollegiate athletics competition that meets our requirements for safety,” said Anne Crutchfield, Emory & Henry director of athletics.
The fall sports competition seasons impacted by this decision include football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, equestrian, and men’s and women’s golf.
Winter sports affected by the delayed start are men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, and men’s and women’s wrestling.
“The conference’s leadership worked extremely hard to explore ways we might have conducted conference championships and competition in the fall,” explained ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston. “Those conversations involved a number of options, but none of them could change the current impact of the virus and its prevalence in our society. A safe return for students and the sustainability of campus life is a priority for all our members.”
To help the ODAC and its member schools provide their student-athletes with the most complete athletic experience possible, NCAA Division III is considering a blanket waiver that would provide unprecedented scheduling flexibility. The scheduling change would provide all sports more time for individual and team skill instruction, strength & conditioning, leadership development, and other athletically-related activities during the academic year as health and safety conditions allow.
“This will not be a traditional fall on campus in any respect, but we intend to provide our student-athletes with a robust and meaningful preseason experience,” added Crutchfield. “The decision to postpone the fall season was difficult, but we have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the student-athletes, coaches, staff, and fans.”
Emory & Henry College is planning for classes in the fall semester to take place on campus with the proper measures taken to ensure the safety of students, faculty, guests and visitors.