Empire 8 member institutions have been working since the advent of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of all members of our respective communities, including our student-athletes, as we anticipate reopening our campuses this fall. The league adopted the NCAA Guidelines for the Resocialization of Sport, developed a detailed Pandemic Protocol Handbook and approved modified schedules for the season.
However, the continued evolution of the virus has presented significant new challenges for safe athletics competition. As such, the Empire 8 Presidents Council has unanimously voted to postpone all fall competition in the sports of men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball. Individual Empire 8 institutions continue to have the ability to engage in athletic-related activity this fall to provide beneficial opportunities for their student-athletes and teams in accordance with local health policy.
The Empire 8 is committed to providing all fall student-athletes with a meaningful conference regular season and championship tournament experience in the spring of 2021 provided it is safe to do so. We are currently developing models and conference schedules to prepare for a successful experience. The health and wellness of our athletes and our campus communities will continue to be a top priority as we finalize those plans.