MORRISVILLE, N.Y. - State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Jim Malatras was on the campus of SUNY Morrisville, Wednesday, where he announced that six SUNY colleges within various athletic conferences have been approved to resume intercollegiate sports this spring.
Among the schools cleared are SUNY Morrisville (Northeastern Athletic Conference) and SUNY Poly (North Atlantic Conference) locally.
The other four approved schools are Alfred State College, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, and SUNY Delhi.
Malatras had previously announced in February that the SUNY Athletic Conference, itself, had planned on moving forward with spring competition this academic year, but individual institutions needed to submit plans for a safe return to be cleared to play.
"I've heard from many student-athletes that it has been difficult being off the playing field over the past year," said Chancellor Malatras. "They have done a tremendous job keeping each other safe from COVID, and with our health and safety guidance in place, we are pleased to be expanding and restarting athletic competitions for more of our colleges. Today is proud moment for SUNY, and another step forward—and I'm looking forward to spirited competition."
The announcement comes nearly one full year after the SUNYAC and SUNY schools within other athletic conferences were forced to shut down athletic competition. The fall and winter seasons this academic year also had to be cancelled.
There will be protocols in place in order to allow for competition such as mandatory weekly testing, reduced bus capacity, no spectators at events, and more.
Schools must also have the green light from their local health departments.
However, once approved, those schools may begin competition immediately.
"SUNY Poly is thrilled that under the leadership of Chancellor Malatras, as well as the North Atlantic Conference and its members, our student-athletes will be able to engage in meaningful competition while still strictly adhering to safety guidelines to support the health of our Wildcat teams and our larger community," said SUNY Poly Acting President Tod A. Laursen.
Schedules are still being developed and will be announced in the coming days.
After nearly a year away from the field, Wednesday's announcement is a welcome sight for student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
"On behalf of the SUNY Morrisville softball team, I want to thank Chancellor Malatras for giving student-athletes the opportunity to play, as athletics are such an important and crucial part of our college careers," said Caitlin McCutchan, a SUNY Morrisville sophomore softball player. "While our studies are our main priority as college students, the collaboration, teamwork, and discipline, as well as the relationships that comes with playing sports teach us lesson that will last a lifetime. We are excited and eager to resume playing, and will be sure to uphold the guidelines to preserve everyone's safety throughout our season."
For Wednesday's full announcement from Malatras regarding SUNY athletics, click here.