Winter sports seasons cancelled due to the coronavirus

October 23, 2020

Winter sport athletes will not be competing in intercollegiate competitions during the 2020-2021 sports season, Athletic Director Lauren Haynie announced in an Oct. 20 email to student-athletes obtained by The Brandeis Hoot. Winter sports affected by this announcement include men’s and women’s basketball, fencing, men’s and women’s indoor track and field and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. 

“The rising infection rates of COVID-19, both regionally and nationally, have contributed to this decision,” Haynie wrote in the email. “Even with the extensive university testing protocol in place, we ultimately decided that the risks to you, your coaches and our staff were simply too great to move forward with travel and outside competition.”

Athletes will still have the opportunity to engage in strength and conditioning sessions, as well as practice with their respective coaches, according to the email. “If state guidelines allow, there will be similar opportunities for meaningful participation with your teams during the spring semester,” Haynie wrote. 

As of print time, the senior administration and the athletics department have not made a decision about the nature of spring sports competition, which include baseball, softball, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field and men’s and women’s tennis. The university is hopeful that these athletes will be able to compete at some point during the spring semester, according to the email. 

The updated news on athletic competition for the 2020-2021 academic year comes after fall sports seasons for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and men’s and women’s tennis were cancelled in late July, according to a previous Hoot article. The July 23 update extended the suspension of intercollegiate athletics through Dec. 31, 2020. It is unclear how far into 2021 the suspension of intercollegiate athletics is extended. 

Brandeis is the first school in the University Athletic Association (UAA) to officially announce that they will not be participating in winter sports seasons. No other UAA schools have officially announced their plans on their respective athletic websites. 

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