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RIT reconsiders play for 2020-21 men’s and women’s hockey seasons

Rochester Institute of Technology has reconsidered its decision to cancel 2020-21 play for its NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs.

In an announcement last week, RIT canceled winter sports competitions due to the ongoing health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. The announcement came after the Liberty League canceled all Divisions III winter sports competitions and championships. The RIT’s men’s and women’s ice hockey teams, however, play at the Division I level, with the men playing in the Atlantic Hockey Association and the women competing in College Hockey America.

Both the Atlantic Hockey Association and College Hockey America have recently submitted their return-to-play safety plans to New York state for approval.

“In view of this new development, we plan to move forward with college hockey competition, contingent upon New York State consent,” said RIT President David Munson. “While we remain concerned about the increase in COVID-19, we also realize that the RIT campus will be only lightly populated from Thanksgiving through late January, providing a period where play will be safer.”

To date, no RIT players or coaches have tested positive for the virus for either the men or women’s team. The teams will be tested three times per week during the season in accordance with NCAA guidance.

“The health, safety and welfare of our student-athletes is always our first priority both on and off the ice,” said Lou Spiotti Jr., RIT executive director of athletics.

Schedules are still to be determined.

“The teams have done everything we have asked them to do,” said Sandra Johnson, senior vice president for Student Affairs. “We are proud of all RIT students for meeting the challenges of this pandemic.”