Cayuga Community College and 26 other SUNY community colleges that are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association have cancelled specific winter intercollegiate athletic programs deemed high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 for the 2020-21 season.
The collective decision, announced Tuesday, prioritizes the health and safety of student-athletes, college staff and communities at each institution amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The community colleges’ decision impacts high-risk winter sports, but allows for winter athletic programs deemed low-risk to continue in a virtual setting.
For Cayuga, Tuesday’s announcement means the cancellation of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons and the women’s volleyball season. Other sports annually offered during the fall semester, such as men’s and women’s soccer, were previously rescheduled for the spring 2021 semester.
“Without a doubt canceling these winter athletic programs is the correct decision. I know our student-athletes are eager to resume competition, but when it comes to their health and the health of our entire campus community, no level of added risk is acceptable,” said Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant. “I congratulate our College leaders who participated in these discussions, and the leaders of the other community colleges who reached the same conclusion that this is the best course of action.”
Cayuga has enacted rigorous health and safety protocols since resuming on-campus operations in the summer. Health and temperature screenings are conducted at entrances to both College campuses, appropriate facemasks are required, and social distancing guidelines are in place. The College also conducts pooled surveillance testing for College employees and students.
At this time, Cayuga is evaluating the potential to offer on-campus workouts and training for student-athletes. These sessions would only be offered in a safe, monitored environment. Once made, the decision will be communicated with coaches and student-athletes.
The community colleges and the National Junior College Athletic Association are continuing discussions regarding the safe resumption of intercollegiate athletics in the spring semester. An official announcement about the status of spring sports will be made in early 2021.