‘Heartbreaking’ — No fall sports at another 9 NJ colleges
Fall sports are off the table at several more colleges as the New Jersey Athletic Conference suspended the season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The NJAC's decision is the second conference to affect New Jersey schools. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference had already pulled the plug on its fall season affecting play at Monmouth, Rider and Saint Peter's universities.
Kean, Montclair, New Jersey City University, Ramapo, Rowan, Stockton, The College of New Jersey, William Paterson, Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden all complete in the NJAC. TCNJ had already canceled fall play for its athletes.
Both conferences said they would consider moving its fall sports — football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, field hockey, women’s volleyball, women’s tennis, women’s cross country, and men’s cross country — to the spring.
“This is obviously a COVID-19-driven decision that matches the decisions made by many conferences throughout the NCAA out of concern for student-athletes, their coaches and the potential of spreading COVID-19 to at risk family and friends. Any time a decision affects student-athletes and coaches, it is extremely difficult, but there is nothing more important than their well-being,” director of athletics John Giannini said in a statement.
Stockton athletic director Kevin McHugh in a statement called it "heartbreaking" but said the suspension of sports is "one of the most effective ways to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure to our athletes, staff and the campus."
The entire Rutgers University football team, which has been training since June 15, was placed on quarantine after six additional positive COVID-19 cases were confirmed this weekend, for a total of 10 to date.
The Big 10, of which Rutgers-New Brunswick, is a member, will play an in-conference schedule but with no fans as outdoor gatherings in New Jersey remain limited to 500.
Princeton and the Ivy League had already announced a cancellation of the fall athletic season.
Executive orders by Gov. Phil Murphy do allow for contact sports with certain precautions, even as the state continues to restrict certain businesses — such as gyms and indoor dining — and sets limits on crowd sizes.
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