The Northeast Conference met on Friday to discuss the state of fall sports, and came to a decision to reaffirm its original ruling that all fall sports would remain postponed, and no sports of any kind would resume until at least Nov. 25.
The NEC announced back in July that fall sports would be postponed until at least Oct. 1, which left Central Connecticut State University without an active sports schedule since all spring sports were canceled in March.
“Prioritizing the continued health and safety of student-athletes and staff, along with campus and local communities, the Northeast Conference (NEC) Council of Presidents today reaffirmed its July 29 decision to postpone fall sports athletics competition and championships as well as all other sports competition to no earlier than November 25,” the NEC said in Friday’s press release. “This decision followed an agreed upon reevaluation of the current COVID-19 landscape and the status of campus reopenings, along with updated federal, state, local and campus regulations.”
While the new Nov. 25 target date to reevaluate NEC sports would come around the time when fall sports would normally be wrapping up, the conference did leave the door open to try for fall sports in the spring, much like the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has laid out as a plan for a potential football season in Connecticut, which was canceled last month.
“Given the NCAA's recent decision to move fall championships to the spring, the NEC will continue its comprehensive exploration and evaluation of the viability of providing a competitive experience for fall sports during the spring semester,” Friday’s statement read. “In their consideration of potential options, the Presidents will determine the best approach moving forward relative to competitive opportunities, taking into account their commitment to the student-athlete experience and the need to provide a healthy and safe competitive environment. With that said, the conference and its member institutions have made the commitment to develop and implement league and campus policies and procedures that will be required before allowing the resumption of conference sports this winter and spring.”
The decision to wait until Nov. 25 also directly affects winter sports in the NEC and CCSU, as last year’s season opener for the men’s basketball team was on Nov. 5. Last year, the men’s basketball team had already played seven games by the 25th, meaning the conference could be looking at a shortened season, if it is able to happen at all.
"As we contend with the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health crisis, health and safety remain our highest priorities, and today's decision by the NEC Council of Presidents aligns with those priorities," said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. "This course of action now allows us to shift our attention to the future, and work with campus leaders to examine the feasibility of potential competitive options for fall, winter and spring sports that support the well-being of student-athletes, staff and campus communities. I continue to be inspired by the resilience and determination of our student-athletes and look forward to the day they are able to once again play the game they love and experience the thrill of NEC competition."