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SLU Announces Plan For Fall Sports Competitions

Tuesday afternoon, Director of Athletics and Recreation Bob Durocher sent student-athletes an update on St. Lawrence University's plan for our varsity fall sports teams.

That letter is posted below.

The highlights of the announcement follow.

· Fall competition in most sports will begin no earlier than Saturday, September 26.

· The plan calls for contests predominantly against Liberty League member institutions while including a limited number of non-league opportunities following phased resocialization.

· There is currently a committee in the Liberty League working on possible schedules for winter sports.

· A league-wide decision on permitting spectators at athletic events will be made by September 1.

· ECAC Hockey member institutions continue discussions on the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Hockey schedules; no decisions about those schedules have been made at this time.

· There will also be policies for testing, retesting, and a protocol if a student-athlete, coach, or other athletic staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

· There will be COVID-19 training and educational sessions for all of our student-athletes.

· Fall competition in most sports will begin no earlier than Saturday, September 26.

· The plan calls for contests predominantly against Liberty League member institutions while including a limited number of non-league opportunities following phased resocialization.

· There is currently a committee in the Liberty League working on possible schedules for winter sports.

· A league-wide decision on permitting spectators at athletic events will be made by September 1.

· ECAC Hockey member institutions continue discussions on the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Hockey schedules; no decisions about those schedules have been made at this time.

· There will also be policies for testing, retesting, and a protocol if a student-athlete, coach, or other athletic staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

· There will be COVID-19 training and educational sessions for all of our student-athletes.

BOB DUROCHER'S LETTER

Student-Athletes, I am writing to you today with some good news. Earlier today, in collaboration with the Liberty League, St. Lawrence University announced an agreement on a plan for a return to athletic competition this fall with a limited schedule and later than usual start. I firmly believe this plan allows us to work through the uncertainty of the situation and gives us a chance to complete the fall season as safely as possible. Fall competition in most sports will begin no earlier than Saturday, September 26. Student-athletes approved for the fall semester should plan to participate in a phased move-in, by appointment and with mandated testing upon arrival, with the rest of the approved students starting August 19.

More information will be available on returning to campus in the coming weeks.   All teams will complete the first two phases of the guidelines outlined in the NCAA's Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport prior to engaging in competition. St. Lawrence athletic teams will adhere to all state and local directives regarding athletics competition. The coaching staff and I are excited to see Saints teams back competing. The plan calls for contests predominantly against Liberty League member institutions while including a limited number of non-league opportunities following phased resocialization.

Teams competing in individual sports will compete in smaller events with fewer competitors. Fall schedules remain in development and will be announced at a later date when available. There is currently a committee in the Liberty League working on possible schedules for winter sports. A league-wide decision on permitting spectators at athletic events will be made by September 1. Let me be clear that our top priority at St. Lawrence is the health and safety of our entire campus community. I have spent the past months, along with my team in the athletics department, in intensive dialogue developing protocols and plans for the safe return to athletics. The plan is a work in progress and will be finalized throughout the summer.

There will be new guidelines and protocols for the Littlejohn Athletic Training Center, the Michael "Buddy" Cornacchia '74 Strength and Conditioning Center, and the Stafford Fitness Center, as well as team locker rooms. There will also be policies for testing, retesting, and a protocol if a student-athlete, coach, or other athletic staff member tests positive for COVID-19. There will be COVID-19 training and educational sessions for all of our student-athletes so everyone understands the importance of these guidelines. The lack of understanding or execution could lead to infection and a termination of our playing seasons.  As you know, during the 2020-21 academic year St. Lawrence will offer three semesters of courses with each student taking courses in two of these three semesters. We know you have indicated your status as a varsity student-athlete in completing the semester preference survey that was due at the end of last week. We will communicate full details of which semesters students will be studying in no later than Wednesday, July 15. I know you will have many questions in the days and weeks ahead. I have asked each of our coaches to plan a team meeting via Zoom very soon to answer questions and concerns. I believe our plan for athletics provides a quality and competitive season for our student-athletes in a way that will be safe and healthy for all involved.

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