PSAC announces scheduling update

Alex Pepke, Sports Editor

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Wednesday announced the cancellation of all mandated regular season and championship competition for fall sports that were going to take place over the 2020-21 season.

Until Wednesday, it was presumed that the fall sports – men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey and football – were going to play out their seasons during the spring of 2021.

The decision to cancel fall competition came following a majority vote of the PSAC Board of Directors, which includes the presidents of the 18 PSAC member institutions.

This decision aligns with the NCAA’s decision to cancel all NCAA championships for fall sports from earlier this year.

Despite the decision, this does not mean that fall sports will not be allowed to compete this spring. According to a PSAC news release, if six or more conference institutions commit to participate in any of the sports mentioned above, the PSAC will reinstate a championship season.

The teams will also be allowed to compete versus other schools not included in the original mandated schedule.

As of now, the PSAC and NCAA still intend on conducting national and conference championships for spring sports. The PSAC Board of Directors voted to proceed with its intended mandated schedules during the spring season, the PSAC’s news release stated.

An announcement from the PSAC regarding winter sports — wrestling, basketball, indoor track and field and swimming — is expected next week.

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., said he hopes that the school’s effort to stay safe pays off for student-athletes.

“Our student-athletes and coaches have done such a great job in supporting each other and committing to the safety and well-being of their teammates and the entire campus community,” Taylor said in a statement issued by the university.

“We returned to an open campus and they have earned the opportunity to compete through their sacrifices all semester. We will do everything that we can to provide them that chance while creating the safest environment possible.”

Lisa Goddard McGuirk, Gannon’s director of athletics, remains optimistic that fall sports will still compete in some way in the spring.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to facilitating a positive student experience and will continue to evaluate possibilities for our fall sports teams to compete during the spring semester, with health and safety remaining at the forefront of all of our decisions,” Goddard McGuirk said in a university news release.

“As an institution, we will continue to follow the testing guidelines of the NCAA, and with nonconference contests in the process of being scheduled for this semester, we will continue to explore opportunities for our student-athletes to compete safely.”

Regardless of whether they play in games or not, all fall and winter student-athletes will retain their eligibility for the 2020-21 season.

As COVID-19 concerns remain prominent, fans, athletes and coaches should expect more announcements from the PSAC and NCAA as the spring semester gets closer.



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