Wilkes University

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

This week, significant decisions were made by the Middle Athletic Conference (MAC) and the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) regarding competition during the 2020 fall semester. Yesterday, the MAC announced that conference athletic competition for the 2020 fall season has been canceled and the UCHC released a decision to postpone conference athletic competition through December 31. The decision to cancel and postpone athletic competition is, undoubtedly, disappointing; however, this was the only choice that would protect the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff.
 
I am writing to you today to share more about these changes to the fall and early-winter season and how they affect the more than 500 student-athletes who compete for Wilkes.
 
Our student-athletes gain lifelong benefits from participating in intercollegiate athletics team at Wilkes – discipline, teamwork, confidence, accountability and so much more. We are committed to creating an experience that comes as close as we can to preserving our teams’ seasons throughout the academic year. Together with the MAC, we will explore alternatives that will provide future competitive experiences for fall sport student-athletes in the spring semester as circumstances allow. We will find new ways for teams to maintain relationships, continue training and enhance skills until such a time that we can safely return to normal competition.
 
Student-athletes will be encouraged to work in support of their individual and team goals, and coaches will work within the conference and University guidelines to create circumstances that allow our student-athletes to eventually return to full team practices. Of course, given the unpredictability of the pandemic, the MAC, UCHC and Wilkes will need to continually revise and reassess these opportunities.
 
I would like to take a moment to recognize the efforts of our athletics department. They worked all summer to create plans and protocols that we hoped would keep our sports seasons intact and our student-athletes safe. Although these plans will not be utilized, I commend our athletics administrators and coaches for their work, which was rooted in the highest level of care for our student-athletes and our campus.
 
Among the lessons we all have learned about the pandemic is this – no matter what we decide, the coronavirus may force us to change our plans. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding as we continue to respond to the global health environment.