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UMass Dartmouth cancels spring sports season
The Standard Times - 3/15/2020
Mar. 15--UMass Dartmouth has officially canceled its 2020 spring athletic season, effectively immediately, in response to the on-going COVID-19 situation.
In a press release on Sunday afternoon the school stressed that there have been no cases of the coronavirus at UMass Dartmouth, but that "the University, out of an abundance of caution, has acted under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health."
"Our concern will always be for the health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes, coaches and the UMass Dartmouth community as a whole," Director of Athletics Amanda Van Voorhis said in the release. "We share the disappointment and sadness that this brings to our student-athletes, especially our seniors, who have prepared diligently for competition throughout the year, but this decision was made to protect their well-being."
Ten sports are affected by the decision: Baseball, softball, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's track and field, women's track and field, men's tennis, men's golf, equestrian and sailing. UMass Dartmouth has also canceled all non-traditional activities for fall programs and the men's indoor track and field team was affected by the cancellation of the NCAA Championships on March 12.
This ends a particularly impressive start for the Corsairs baseball team, which was off to a 9-1 start. The softball team was 6-6, the men's lacrosse team was 1-3, the women's lacrosse team was 2-2 and men's tennis was 0-3. The golf and equestrian teams had three meets remaining, sailing had four events left and track and field had at least eight meets left.
Van Voorhis addressed the school's student-athletes in a statement posted on CorsairAthletics.com.
"I know that you will experience a wide range of emotions associated with this decision," she wrote. "Your hard work over the last few months had undoubtedly prepared you for continued success in competition. I share your disappointment and sadness, especially for those members of our senior class. The health, safety, and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and campus community is, and always will be, our top priority. I hope you all understand this decision was made in your best interests.
Van Voorhis encouraged student-athletes to continue communicating with their coaches and teammates, but warned of social media use.
"Even though you will not be competing, you remain a very vibrant family that represents UMass Dartmouth with great distinction," she said. "I also encourage you to be vigilant in your use of social media -- please refrain from making any comments that could be interpreted negatively and reflect poorly on yourself, your program, your teammates, coaches, and the University."
Van Voorhis also pointed student-athletes to an NCAA statement from Friday that granted an additional season/semester of eligibility for student-athletes participating in spring sports.
"I am asking each coach to work with the compliance office to provide this information to you in the coming days, and further updates will be posted to the Corsair athletics home page," she wrote. "Your contributions to the UMass Dartmouth Athletic family are immeasurable, and this action does not change that. I hope you understand why it was necessary, and I urge you to continue to be strong as this public health crisis continues."
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