Update: February 23, 2021, 4:45 p.m.
State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced today that the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) will resume spring sports on March 20, enabling Buffalo State's softball, women's lacrosse, and outdoor track and field teams to engage in competitive seasons.
On January 20, Chancellor Malatras sent a letter to SUNYAC asking the league to develop a plan for the possible resumption of spring athletic competition. Over the past month, the league convened more than 50 stakeholders including campus presidents, athletic directors, coaches, and health experts to develop a plan. Last night the final plan was adopted by SUNYAC, which includes the following:
The plan also includes that rising COVID positivity rates could delay or pause competition.
Full SUNYAC Operational Plans (PDF)
Schedules and decisions on non-conference play will be announced in the near future.
Leading up to spring sports, SUNY also unveiled a new video from SUNY Brockport, a SUNYAC campus, as a part of its #MaskUpSUNY campaign to keep campuses safe for the spring semester. The spring campaign will star SUNYAC student athletes as they prepare to get back in the game. Other SUNYAC campuses include Buffalo State, Cortland, Fredonia, Geneseo, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburgh, and Potsdam.
"The pandemic has kept our student athletes off the playing field for too long, but thanks to the great work and effort of SUNYAC Commissioner DiCamillo, our campus presidents, the SUNYAC leadership, athletic directors, coaches, and our athletes, we've developed a workable plan to resume athletic competition at SUNY," said Chancellor Malatras. "I look forward to all of the great competition this year, and SUNY, like always, will aggressively handle any situations related to COVID as they emerge. I have confidence in our students—both on and off the field—to stay the course and comply to keep one another and our entire campuses and communities safe."
"Buffalo State would like to thank SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras for supporting our plan to safely resume spring SUNYAC sports," Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner said. "I am thrilled that our wonderful Bengals will have an opportunity to roar this spring."
SUNYAC Commissioner Tom DiCamillo said, "This plan has come together after consultation with SUNYAC presidents and experts across the campuses, as well as close partnership with our local health officials. It includes a thorough strategy to keep players, coaches, and personnel safe, and we are pleased to get the season started for more of our SUNYAC teams. My thanks to Chancellor Malatras for his support."
The SUNYAC plan follows a comprehensive review of spring sports by more than 50 individual athletic administrators, coaches, assignors of officials, certified athletic trainers, and sports information directors. The plan was shared with each individual local Department of Health.
The SUNYAC is an NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic conference featuring 10 full-member SUNY institutions (Brockport, Buffalo State, Cortland, Fredonia, Geneseo, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburgh and Potsdam) and one affiliate (Morrisville) that sponsors 20 championships (9 men's, 11 women's). There are more than 4,500 student athletes that compete in the SUNYAC.
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