SUNY Community Colleges Cancel Basketball and Volleyball Seasons
After careful thought, consideration, and dialogue, SUNY Community Colleges (27 of 30) that are members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), have collectively decided to cancel intercollegiate competition for the 2020-21 indoor sports that are considered "high risk" for COVID-19 exposure and spread of infection. For Tompkins Cortland Community College, that means the cancellation of the basketball and volleyball seasons for this academic year. Campuses will have the option to hold on-campus workouts and training with student-athletes, which Tompkins Cortland plans to allow in a structured and monitored environment. The College still plans to have baseball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and softball seasons during the Spring 2021 semester.
All NJCAA SUNY Community Colleges will continue planning for the safe resumption of intercollegiate athletics in spring 2021. Traditional spring sports and several traditional fall sports have been moved to spring, per the NJCAA 2021 Sports Guidelines. An official announcement on spring sports' status will be made in January. Detailed sport specific guidelines and protocols are currently in development and Return to Play and Return to Competition Plans will be informed by nationally recognized sport specific agencies along with NYS, CDC, DOH, and governing athletic associations.
Presidents from across the region made the decision to cancel the indoor seasons. Tompkins Cortland Director of Athletics Mick McDaniel agrees the danger of spreading the virus while playing contact sports indoors is too high. "The decision to cancel the indoor sports seasons is a tough one, but it's the right one based on what we now know. Each sport brings its own set of unique factors to consider when evaluating the safety of returning to competition, and unfortunately, the indoor sports simply have too many risks to justify having a season," said McDaniel.
Tompkins Cortland successfully completed a full season of cross country competitions this fall, and held practices and off-season workouts for all the other sports, thanks to a well-executed plan for the safe return to play for student-athletes. The work that went into creating opportunities for student-athletes in the fall semester will continue in the spring.
"I am very proud of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff for working together, staying smart, and making the best of a tough situation this fall. While many other colleges just shut down athletics, we honored our commitment to provide the best possible experience to our student-athletes," said McDaniel. "I hope that our work this fall will help us in the spring, and that the new year will bring with it some good news in the form of getting our Panthers back outdoors and onto the fields of competition."