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Penn College, NEAC cancel fall sports schedule

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s fall athletics season was canceled Friday following a unanimous decision by the North Eastern Athletic Conference Presidents’ Council and Board of Athletic Directors.

“Given the current state of the pandemic and the most recent NCAA recommendations, the NEAC Presidents’ Council has unanimously determined that our eight member institutions will not participate in intercollegiate athletic competition during the Fall 2020 season,” the council announced. “NEAC institutions will work together in collaboration with the conference office and the NCAA to seek alternate opportunities to provide a meaningful student-athlete experience throughout the fall season.”

Wildcat Athletics“We know this decision is incredibly disappointing as we understand the value of competition and the student-athlete experience across the NEAC,” said Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president and chair of the NEAC Presidents’ Council. “We also recognize the responsibility we bear to ensure the safety and well-being of all who are affiliated with our campus communities. Given the recent NCAA recommendations and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, as well as current state and local regulations, engaging in outside athletic competition is not feasible at this time.”

The conference will “continue to monitor the ongoing developments of the pandemic. We will continue to rely on NCAA recommendations, CDC guidelines, and federal, state, local and campus regulations as we develop all future plans for our student-athletes and any potential return to play,” the council’s statement continued.

The decision affects eight Penn College athletic programs: men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and men’s golf.

Penn College still plans to conduct team-related activities during the fall semester in accordance with NCAA, state and local health guidelines. Additional information on approved team-related activities is forthcoming.

“While this is the correct decision at this time, it doesn’t hurt any less. We share in the disappointment that our student-athletes (especially our seniors), our coaching staff and our fans are feeling,” said John D. Vandevere, Penn College’s director of athletics. “Since the true athletics experience is more than just competing in contests, we will continue to engage our student-athletes in team-related activities and provide them with the support and guidance through their academic endeavors.”

A decision regarding winter and spring competition will be made at a later date.

For additional information, visit Penn College Athletics’ FAQ page.

For more information on Penn College Wildcats, visit the Athletics webpage.

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