LATHAM, N.Y. - The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) announced, Friday, that its Presidents' Council unanimously voted to cancel the Fall 2020 sports season.
The decision came following the recommendation from member school athletic directors in the interest of health and safety for students, staff and campus communities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This affects six of SUNY Morrville's fall sports teams locally including men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, and women's volleyball.
Mustangs football had previously had their season postponed until the spring semester after a decision by the Empire 8 Conference on Wednesday.
"It is difficult to have to share the decision to suspend fall competition within the NEAC with the student-athletes," said SUNY Morrisville Interim Athletic Director Todd Kleinhans. "However, we support the NEAC's decision and appreciate that it puts the health and safety of our student, faculty, staff and campus community as a priority.
For conference officials, it was not an easy decision to make but one that they felt was necessary given the current landscape of the health crisis in the country.
"Our members have worked so hard over the last few months in hopes of returning to play this fall and we acknowledge that while this was a necessary decision at this time, it is the most difficult decision," said NEAC Commissioner Stephanie Dutton. "We will continue to remain committed to our student-athletes as we all work through this. While we are accustomed to competing against each other in the fall, we will lean on each other in the coming months to continue to provide for our student-athletes in a collaborative way."
The NEAC Presidents' Council, Board of Athletic Directors and conference office will continue to work together under the guidelines set forth by the CDC along with federal, state, local and campus regulations, and recommendations from the NCAA, in order to develop future plans for student-athletes to return to play.
Those bodies will also explore alternative opportunities for student-athletes to engage in some sort of athletic activities throughout the fall season.
Decisions regarding the winter and spring season will be made at a later date.
SUNY Morrisville's field hockey team plays in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), which has yet to make an announcement regarding the status of its fall season.
Mustangs teams join those of Colgate University (Patriot League), Hamilton College (NESCAC), Utica College and Hartwick College (Empire 8), and Herkimer College and Mohawk Valley Community College (NJCAA), to have their fall seasons impacted by the pandemic.