College Commits to Spring Sports Seasons

Tompkins Cortland Community College is moving forward with plans to compete in outdoor sports this spring.

Since announcing the cancellation of indoor sports last semester, SUNY Community Colleges that are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), including Tompkins Cortland, have continued collaborative efforts to assess and plan for the safe resumption of outdoor sports this spring. Campuses have the option to either cancel intercollegiate athletics, hold on-campus workouts and training but no games, or move forward with a return to competition. Tompkins Cortland is one more than a dozen institutions in Region 3 to vote to return to competition.

For Tompkins Cortland, that means men’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, golf, and men’s and women’s soccer teams will move forward towards season, following sport-specific guides that have been developed and adopted by all SUNY Community Colleges that will be competing. These guides were informed by governing athletic associations, and made to be consistent with CDC, NYS Guidelines, SUNY and local DOH, and institutional recommendations and protocols. 

“A safe return to competition is something we have been working towards for almost a year, and I’m very excited that we will be able to provide this opportunity to our student-athletes,” said Mick McDaniel, director of athletics at Tompkins Cortland. “Obviously this hasn’t been a typical year, and our sports will certainly reflect that with changes for everyone’s safety. But thanks to the hard work of people here and at many of our fellow NJCAA institutions in Region 3, we are on track to have seasons for our outdoor sports.”

In addition to modified schedules to limit travel, all contests will be played with no spectators, much like the cross country season in the fall. “We were able to have a cross country season in the fall because we were flexible and willing to take the necessary steps to host safe meets,” said McDaniel, noting that Tompkins Cortland was one of seven schools in the region to safely compete in cross country. The fall also saw other Panther teams holding practices under new safety guidelines. “The success of that season has shown that it is possible to offer student-athletes the opportunity to compete safely. We’re taking a bigger step this spring, with multiple sports and many more student-athletes involved, but I’m confident what we have learned this year has helped us put together a plan that will work and get our teams back on the fields of competition.”