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UD postpones fall sports until spring

Photo courtesy of UD Athletics

Decision comes in response to CAA announcement

In conjunction with the decision of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Football Conference Board of Directors, the University of Delaware will suspend conference competition for the upcoming 2020 football season.

Keeping health and safety as the top priorities for the UD community, all fall sports, including cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and volleyball will be suspended. The sports of rowing, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's golf will also not participate in fall competition.  These decisions come at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in the face of the global pandemic.

Delaware Athletics will diligently explore opportunities to create a competitive season for the fall sports programs during the spring of 2021.

"Over the last several months, we worked diligently to do everything possible so we could enjoy a great fall season of competition,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “However, the health and safety of all participants in our athletics program, including our loyal fans, is absolutely paramount for all of us at UD. Suspending fall sports was a very difficult decision, but it’s the right one. We’re proud of our talented student-athletes, our excellent coaches and our dedicated Athletics staff, and we remain committed to leading our program to success. Though I’m disappointed that we won’t get to cheer on the Blue Hens this fall, I’m already looking forward to some great matchups in 2021.”

Chrissi Rawak, director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation, said, "These are certainly unprecedented and challenging times and this decision was an incredibly difficult one to make. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and entire community has always been, and will continue to be our top priority. We know how hard our student-athletes, coaches and staff work to compete for this great University. We also know that we have so many loyal supporters that bleed Blue and Gold, however, to mitigate risk and compete in a safe and healthy environment, ultimately this was a decision that needed to be made. We will do everything we can to give our student-athletes and coaches an opportunity to compete for the University of Delaware as soon as it's safe to do so."

If student-athletes choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19, their scholarship will still be honored and they will remain in good standing with their team for this academic year.

While the entire CAA conference did not make a collective decision on sports outside of football, UD felt it was necessary to align the decision for all fall sports. Recognizing and respecting that each full member conference school is in a different part of the country with different campus circumstances, this is the right decision for UD.

Several peer institutions competing in the CAA Conference have made the same decision to suspend fall sports competition.

In alignment with local and state guidelines, UD will also continue with voluntary workout participation that is currently taking place, as permitted to do so per the NCAA.

Decisions on winter sports and their competitive season will be made at a later date.

A message from Chrissi Rawak

Editor’s note: UD Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak shared the following message with the UD community .

Blue Hen Family,

As you know, we are facing uncertain and unprecedented times through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the health and safety of our people and our Delaware community continues to be our number one priority.

Today, the CAA Football Conference Board of Directors announced its decision to suspend conference competition for the upcoming 2020 football season.

We have also made the difficult decision to postpone all fall sports in addition to football (women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball). We believe that the complexity of managing a complete competitive season (practice, home and away competitions, travel, etc.) was going to create significant risk to the health and safety of our people and to our campus.

The sports of rowing, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s golf will also not participate in fall competition.

While it is not 100% clear how, we will be relentless in our work to create a competitive season for our fall sports during the spring of 2021. There is nothing we want more than to have our student-athletes and coaches competing together for Delaware!

We will continue to monitor our winter sports and will make a decision on their competitive season at a later date.

We are in this together as one Blue Hen Family.

With great appreciation,

Chrissi Rawak, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services

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