Athletics

Western Athletic Conference Suspends Fall Athletics Competition

August 13, 2020

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“While heartbreaking and difficult, the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains the utmost priority and the decision not to compete this fall is in the best interest of the Seattle U community,” said Seattle U Director of Athletics Shaney Fink.

In consideration of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Board of Directors voted on August 13 to suspend all fall championship and non-championship athletics competition through the end of the calendar year.
 
“It obviously was a difficult decision and not one made lightly,” said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. “But it was one made after extensive discussion and consideration of all relevant factors, as well as input from conference administrators and the medical advisory committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes, the many others associated with our athletics programs and all those in our campus environments always will be the highest priority.”
 
“The Board recognizes the disappointment felt by our student-athletes, coaches and fans, but it believes the decision is in the best interest of all concerned,” said SU President and WAC Board Chair Stephen Sundborg, S.J.
 
The fall conference championship sports affected are men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer. Contingent on the NCAA fall championships being moved to the spring and, if feasible, the WAC will conduct the respective spring sports during the same time frame.
 
The decision also affects the non-championship portion of the schedule for men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, baseball and softball, with January 1, 2021 set as the earliest opportunity for competition in these sports. For the Redhawks, women's rowing will also follow the January 1 guideline.
 
Men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving competition will be postponed through the end of October pending board discussion on winter athletics competition.
  
Conditioning, strength training and other practice opportunities in all sports will be permitted per institutional discretion.

“While heartbreaking and difficult, the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains the utmost priority and the decision not to compete this fall is in the best interest of the Seattle U community,” said SU Director of Athletics Shaney Fink. “We all grieve for what we have lost in this global pandemic. Though not at all what we had imagined for this fall quarter, we must now adjust our focus beyond competition and provide the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”
 
Continued Fink, “The college experience is special. At Seattle U, we work with urgency, understanding how quickly the days pass with four years of athletic eligibility. Regardless of circumstances surrounding intercollegiate athletics competition, of class courses taken remotely or whether students return to campus this quarter, we will continue to deliver a uniquely Seattle, distinctly Jesuit Catholic and inclusively excellent athletic experience.”

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