Tuesday, July 21, 2020

POSTPONED: No Fall Sports at Randolph-Macon

The following was announced by the Randolph-Macon College Athletic Department on Tuesday afternoon.


ASHLAND, Va. - After extensive deliberations, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Presidents Council voted to postpone conference competition and championships for fall and winter sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year (December 31). The ODAC remains focused on providing meaningful competition for all student-athletes in 2020-21, which includes an intention to sponsor conference competition for fall and winter sports in the spring semester.

"We know how disappointing this news is for our fall athletes, their families, the R-MC community, and Yellow Jackets everywhere. We share in your disappointment," said Robert R. Lindgren, President of Randolph-Macon College. "The College remains committed to a comprehensive intercollegiate athletics program and the wonderful student-athletes who represent the College with distinction."

After consulting with conference officials and medical personnel the Presidents and Athletic Directors decided that the perceived risks and financial burden associated with the resumption of intercollegiate travel and competition proved too great. Athletics and the student-athletes that comprise it play a crucial role in our college community and we look forward to working to provide a positive and meaningful student-athlete experience amid the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The collegiate athletic experience at Randolph-Macon College is a valuable part of our co-curricular educational mission to develop the mind and character of our students," said Jeff Burns, R-MC Director of Athletics. "However, the health and safety of our campus and communities must be our highest priority."

Seasons are postponed for Yellow Jacket football, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball, as well as fall schedules for men's and women's golf and men's and women's tennis. Men's and women's basketball as well as men's and women's swimming will not compete against outside competition prior to Jan. 1, 2021.  When it can be safely done, student-athletes can participate in allowable team activities.

To help the ODAC and its member schools provide their student-athletes with the most complete athletic experience possible, NCAA Division III is considering a blanket waiver that would provide unprecedented scheduling flexibility. The scheduling change would provide all conference sports more time for individual and team skill instruction, strength and conditioning, leadership development, and other athletically related activities during the academic year as health and safety conditions allow.
"These are certainly unprecedented times and we are developing plans to have athletic competitions early in the spring academic calendar," Burns said. "In the meantime, our coaches are organizing ways to utilize the fall semester for greater personal and player development, varied strength and conditioning opportunities, and team building exercises. Our players will benefit from the extended time and we will be prepared to play when competition resumes."
Randolph-Macon will begin classes on August 24 with two seven-week sessions comprised of two classes each with final exams taking place online after Thanksgiving. 

For more information on the upcoming year and campus policies please visit https://www.rmc.edu/campus-life/protect.

Click here to view ODAC release.

Randolph-Macon College NCAA Athletics Fall 2020 Return to Campus Q&A
Last Updated 7/21/20
This document will be updated as new information becomes available.

1. What sports will be able to compete during the fall semester?
Randolph-Macon College will not be competing in any sports during the 2020 fall semester due to college policies restricting travel and visitors on campus.

2. Will fall and winter sports compete at all in 2020-2021?
No athletic competition will occur until at least January 1, 2021. The College, the athletic department, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, infectious disease experts, and the NCAA will work together to evaluate any options for fall/winter sports competition in the winter and/or spring.

3. When will students know if winter and spring sports are happening?
We know that there will not be any athletic competition until at least January 1, 2021. No decisions have been made about the January or Spring Terms yet. The College, the athletic department, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, infectious disease experts, and the NCAA, will make a determination about winter and spring sports at a future date.

4. Will fall and winter season teams be able to compete during the January or Spring Terms?
We are investigating opportunities with the NCAA to shift our competitive season for fall and winter sports to the January/spring terms. We are committed to trying to provide meaningful competitive opportunities to our fall and winter teams during the January/spring terms.

5. What impact would only being able to practice or play a limited number of games have on my eligibility with the NCAA?
Under NCAA rules, students will not use a season of eligibility if their team does not compete during the traditional sport season. On July 9, the NCAA issued a blanket waiver that states that student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA also approved a second blanket waiver which permits student-athletes to receive a two semester extension of eligibility if the student-athlete is unable to participate in their sport during the 2020-21 academic year due to the impact of COVID-19 or if the student-athlete's team completed 50% or less of the sport's maximum contests/dates of competition due to COVID-19. This waiver applies to all sports (fall, winter, and spring).

6. Will all sports participate in a non-traditional season this fall? 
For those students who are on campus and who are members of our fall, winter, and spring varsity programs, practices will be permitted in accordance with institutional, state, and NCAA safety protocols, including physical distancing. Pre-participation forms (medical and NCAA), concussion baseline testing, and COVID screening will be required and reviewed prior to participating in team activities.
The NCAA is currently considering a waiver that would provide institutions flexibility in their sport seasons during 2020-21. This will most likely allow schools to count their playing seasons in 114 days. The NCAA's current structure requires a weekly sports calendar and does not provide as much flexibility as offered in the proposed waiver. A final decision on the waiver is expected following the Division III Management Council Meeting on July 20-21.

7. Has the NCAA announced any changes to the 2020-2021 championships?
There have been no announcements regarding any adjustments to the NCAA championships.

8. When will student-athletes arrive on campus now that the fall preseason has been canceled?
Fall sport student-athletes will arrive in shifts, as assigned by Residence Life, between 9am-3pm on August 18th.
Winter and Spring student-athletes will arrive with the rest of the student body, in shifts assigned by Residence Life. New students will be assigned a day and time on August 19th or August 20th; returning students will be assigned a day and time on August 21st, 22nd, or 23rd. Assignments will be forthcoming shortly from Residence Life.

9. Will all fall athletes be subject to testing for COVID-19 when they arrive on campus as originally planned in the campus reopening plan?
No. Testing protocols for student-athletes will be determined by the College's COVID-19 Health and Safety squad (including the Director of Sports Medicine) in consultation with the athletic department, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, and infectious disease experts, and with consideration of NCAA recommendations.

10. Will student-athletes who are on campus for the fall have access to the services and support provided through athletic training services?
The athletics administration is continuing to work on specific protocols regarding athletic training services. More information will be provided as soon as possible.

11. Will all athletic facilities be open?
Facilities will be open for the campus community while observing state and institutional guidelines, including physical distancing. As this is a fluid situation, we cannot guarantee what will be available or when. We are working on plans to enable safe usage of these spaces as well as increased cleaning and sanitizing. Access to facilities may change during the semester, depending on changing state and institutional guidelines.

12. Will student-athletes have access to locker rooms?
Student-athletes will not have access to locker rooms.

13. Will intramural sports be able to practice and/or compete?
Intramural sports will not be able to practice or compete in the fall semester.

For additional information please visit https://www.rmc.edu/campus-life/protect.

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