Dear MCLA colleagues and students:
I hope this note finds you well and enjoying some rest and relaxation this summer. I am writing to you today with an update on MCLA's fall athletics season.
Earlier today our athletics conference, the Massachusetts State College Athletics Conference (MASCAC), announced that fall teams (men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and women's tennis, men's golf and men's and women's cross country) will not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition during the fall 2020 season.
The decision not to participate in fall intercollegiate athletics was ultimately made with the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff members, and the public as our highest priority.
I know I speak for all of our coaches and athletic staff when I say this is a disappointing development for our student-athletes who thrive on the courts and fields and in our classrooms. Participating in sports is an important part of our students' educational path and adds a richness to our students' experiences through learning about themselves, each other, and how to excel at being part of a team.
Preseason for fall sports will also not be conducted this year. Student-athletes should refer to information issued by Residential Programs and Services (RPS) regarding housing assignments and move-in details for the fall. This information is forthcoming.
Practice and other training opportunities for student-athletes will be permitted provided they adhere to MCLA's protocols for public health and safety. In the coming weeks, Athletic Department staff will work with coaches to implement the protocols for athletically related activities and will share that information when possible.
The NCAA has granted a blanket waiver regarding student-athlete eligibility: Division III student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team completes less than 50% of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision on winter and spring sports competition, and on whether fall sport competition would be possible in the spring, will be determined at a later date.
I am confident that MCLA will be able to provide a meaningful experience for our student-athletes throughout the fall semester. Please contact Laura Mooney, Director of Athletics, with any questions at (413) 662-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have my best wishes for an enjoyable remainder of the summer. I look forward to seeing you this fall.
James F. Birge, Ph.D.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
375 Church Street
North Adams, MA 01247