NVU-Johnson, Lyndon the latest Vermont schools to scrap fall sports for 2020

Athletes at both Northern Vermont University campuses are the latest to have their seasons dashed by the the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North Atlantic Conference, home to both the NVU-Johnson Badgers and NVU-Lyndon Hornets, announced Monday that it would not hold fall sports this year, according to a news release

The decision affects men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s golf, and women’s volleyball. It follows similar decisions by leagues including other Vermont instutions, including the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College, Middlebury College and Norwich University.

There will be no regular season or postseason competitions, though programs have the discretion to organize practices and other alternate competitions based on guidelines set by each school, state, locality and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a difficult day for NAC students, coaches and staff,” league commissioner Marcella Zalot said in a statement. “What we wished we could do and ultimately what we are able to do are just in two different places right now.”

COVID-19 AND COLLEGE SPORTS: 

America East, UVM’s conference, postpones fall sports amid COVID-19

St. Michael’s athletics halted as Northeast-10 Conference suspends play through Dec. 31

Norwich University cancels fall sports season due to COVID-19 pandemic

Middlebury College, NESCAC cancel all fall 2020 sports competitions

NVU Lyndon Hornets women's tennis players bring their hands together for a pre-match prep talk.

NVU and its two campuses are “committed to exploring meaningful athletic experiences for all fall sport student athletes,” according to a news release. Teams will be encouraged to conduct conditioning, strength training, sport-specific practices and potentially compete in a fashion during the fall. 

The NCAA Division III has authorized a waiver for affected athletes that allows any team unable to play at least 50 percent of the maximum allowed contests to retain the eligibility. The NCAA is still reviewing whether it will permit fall sports to play contests in the spring in the event they are not able to play a full season in the fall.  

The NAC said decisions related to winter and spring competition will be made at a later date.

Contact Austin Danforth at 651-4851 or edanforth@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @eadanforth.

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