The Big East Conference made the announcement Wednesday that all fall sports will be cancelled for the upcoming school year.
— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) August 12, 2020
“The decision to not hold fall sports competition was not made lightly,” Chair of the Big East Board of Directors and Villanova University President Reverend Peter M. Donohue said. “The guidance of the Big East COVID-19 Task Force, this decision, while disappointing, was made with the health and safety of our student-athletes and staff in mind. The well-being of our community members are, and will continue to be, our priority and focus.”
Big East Commissioner Val Ackeramn said the decision came after a thorough review by the Conference’s Presidents and Athletic Directors, taking into account COVID-19 counts and trends, NCAA guidance and many more unknowns before ultimately coming to this decision.
Team statement from head coach Margaret Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/4Ag2v6nPvB
— UConn Women’s Soccer (@UConnWSOC) August 12, 2020
Men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey are among the teams immediately impacted while sports taking part in non-season competition are also having their play shut down. All had previously announced a conference-only schedule in mid-July, with several releasing their own statements with the season officially cancelled.
Our team statement pic.twitter.com/Xrv1pTbRUp
— UConn Field Hockey (@UConnFHockey) August 12, 2020
A team statement from head coach Ray Reid pic.twitter.com/aB5MOKQhVB
— UConn Men’s Soccer (@UConnMSOC) August 12, 2020
The Big East’s decision follows that of the Pac-12 and Big Ten, who agreed to cancel fall sports days earlier. And while some conferences like the Big 12 and American Athletic Conference have yet to make the call, UConn’s director of athletics Dave Benedict believes this is in the best interest of the university.
“I fully support the difficult but necessary decision made by the Big East presidents to postpone fall sports competition,” Benedict said. “Our student-athletes take great pride in competing but, in speaking to many of them in the last several days, I know they understand this decision was made with their health and well-being at top of mind.”
The possibility of these sports being postponed to the spring remains on the table and is dependent upon how well the coronavirus pandemic is managed in the coming months.
Sports played in the winter and spring remain unaffected at this time.