Gannon prepared to opt-in to fall and winter sports despite PSAC cancellation

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PSAC

Alex Pepke, Sports Editor

Last week, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) 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.

A similar announcement was made Wednesday, but this time it was for winter sports.

As of now, fall and winter sports – cross country, soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey, football, basketball, indoor track & field, swimming and wrestling – will not participate in any PSAC-sanctioned events this spring.

But that does not mean that Gannon University’s fall and winter sports teams will be idle in the spring.

If six or more conference institutions commit to participate in any of the sports mentioned above, the PSAC will reinstate a championship season.

While it is still unclear whether the rest of the PSAC schools will opt-in or out, Gannon is prepared to opt-in to PSAC competition for all fall and winter sports, said David Rung, the university’s director of athletics media relations.

Even if the required number of PSAC schools do not opt-in for conference competition and championships, Gannon will pursue all opportunities to safely compete in all its fall and winter sports.

All PSAC schools had to declare their intentions to play or not to play for all the sports above to the conference office by the end of the work day Wednesday.

The PSAC will make an announcement as soon as possible on whether any of these sports will have a championship season.

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

Even if the teams do not have a conference championship season, they will also be allowed to compete versus other schools not included in the original mandated schedule.

While fall and winter sports have been canceled by the PSAC for now, the conference has reinforced its intent to continue with the spring sports in 2021.

“With careful consideration to health concerns and realistic abilities to conduct sport seasons amid this pandemic, our conference and our membership is forced to make some very difficult decisions,” said PSAC Commissioner Steve Murray. “With the time we have to continue weighing our options, we are fully committed to playing a spring sports season.  We will remain supportive of any other decisions to play sports and host championship events should our membership view it as a safe and reasonable opportunity.”

Even if they do take part in competition in the spring, all fall and winter student-athletes will not lose a year of eligibility.

 

ALEX PEPKE

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