ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Patriot League Council of Presidents announced Monday that it has decided to cancel the fall sports season for its teams due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release, the league stated that the pandemic “continues to present significant challenges to our campuses and communities” which is why the decision was made to cut the fall season.
However, the Patriot League did say that both the United States Military Academy (Army) and United States Naval Academy (Navy) will be able to continue to engage in competitive opportunities during the fall “as considered appropriate by their Superintendents.”
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Aside from the decision regarding fall sports, the league also announced that a decision on winter sports season will be made at a later date and that athletes will still be allowed to do conditioning, strength training, and other practices as long as health and safety conditions support those activities. The main focus of the league in making the decision was the health and safety of the campus communities. From the release:
“The collegiate athletics experience at all Patriot League institutions is valuable to fulfilling our educational and developmental missions, and the League recognizes that any degree of non-competition this fall is deeply disappointing to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans. However, the health and safety of our campuses and communities must be our highest priority.
The League is committed to exploring creative approaches and alternatives to providing future competitive experiences to our fall sport student-athletes, including the possibility of conducting fall sport competition and championships in the second semester.”
The decision means that fall sports seasons for American University, Loyola University Maryland and Georgetown’s football season have all been canceled.
In an interview with ESPN, Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said the team has “every intention of playing Army-Navy” despite the pandemic.