I hope that you are continuing to stay safe, and that your families are well during what continues to be a trying and difficult time for all. I know today's announcement regarding the fall semester and athletics during the upcoming year is not the decision that you hoped to receive. I am sorry that you must wait to compete in the sports you love and to reconnect with your teammates and coaches in the manner you have in the past. I know all of the hard work, dedication and sacrifices you make to be a student-athlete, and I can assure you that the College's senior staff and coaches have worked with our NESCAC counterparts tirelessly on this issue since your departure from campus in March.
To be clear: Our number one concern has always been, and will continue to be, your safety and long-term health. Please know that we considered every possible scenario while trying to come up with a plan that we thought was right for you, Amherst and our campus community as a whole. But given that it is impossible at this point to eliminate risk of exposure to COVID-19 even in situations without the close and sustained contact of athletic play, the decision to cancel fall competition was, in the end, the only one to make.
I understand the frustration that you all are feeling. I also am disappointed that we will not have our normal athletic calendar this year and that I will be unable to see many of you compete at the highest level and cheer on your successes. The coaches, our athletic staff and I remain committed to doing everything we can to provide a worthwhile, engaging and competitive athletic experience for all of you, despite the circumstances.
If there is some bit of positive news, it is that fall athletes will be able to practice in small groups during the fall semester within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's, the state's, the NCAA's and the College's safety protocols, and that the NESCAC presidents have passed waivers that allow those of you that are part of winter and spring sports to work with your team and coaches this fall. Your coaches are working on plans and will try to answer the questions you have regarding your sport. Please understand that some details are still being worked out.
Thank you all for your flexibility, understanding and resilience during these difficult times. If there is anything that you need from me or that I can do to help, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Stay safe and be well!
Director of Athletics