Posted: Jul 30, 2020
ALMA — Alma College announced Thursday the postponement of fall sports competition and championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The college coordinated its announcement with that of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), which today postponed all fall sports to the spring. The decision affects the Alma men's and women's cross country, golf, soccer, and tennis teams, as well as football and volleyball.
"After consultation and discussions with our board of trustees, colleagues across the MIAA, and public health professionals, we have concluded that postponing fall competition until spring 2021 is the best choice for all in our community, and especially for our student-athletes," said Alma College President Jeff Abernathy.
"The decision was informed by local, state and federal health guidelines and will reduce risk for students, coaches, faculty and staff. Along with limiting travel, reducing guests, and practicing social distancing and face coverings throughout all areas of campus, our goal is simple: to protect every person in the Alma community," Abernathy continued.
Abernathy added he has met with Alma coaches to discuss the decision before it was made and will continue to confer with them in weeks and months ahead.
Sarah Dehring, Alma College director of athletics, said she will work with coaches and players to design plans that best promote safety, while cultivating teamwork and well-being during the fall sports season. She, along with Abernathy, Alma Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life Andrew Pomerville and other members of support staff, will continue to meet with student-athletes throughout the fall sports season and beyond.
Individual and team workouts will still be permitted during the fall sports season, Dehring added.
Victoria Aquilino, a fall student-athlete, agrees with Alma College's decision, and noted that athletics will continue to be an important piece of her college experience.
"As a rising senior and fall sport athlete, I understand the impact of the decision to postpone fall competition. I am thankful that Alma Athletics staff and the MIAA are putting student-athlete welfare at the forefront of their decisions. While it is disappointing that students will not compete for the Scots this season, health and safety must be the priority given the state of the pandemic," said Aquilino, who is also the incoming president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at Alma.
The MIAA will continue to meet in coming weeks to determine next steps for the 2020-21 winter sports season, which is currently scheduled to begin during the fall semester, as well as the spring and fall sports seasons, which are now expected to be scheduled concurrently in 2021.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about Alma's return to campus plans, visit https://www.alma.edu/return-to-campus/return-to-campus-faqs/ For Athletics-specific information, visit https://www.alma.edu/return-to-campus/athletics/