Washington and Lee will not compete in fall semester athletics

Washington and Lee football
Washington and Lee football(WDBJ)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - Washington and Lee will not compete in any fall semester athletic competition, the university announced in a release Friday.

The decision came in an online address from President Will Dudley, which include other aspects of the school’s return-to-campus policies for the upcoming semester.

The Generals’ football, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball teams will not contest a schedule or play any games in 2020.

Winter sports whose seasons would have started in the latter part of the semester will also have their schedules impacted.

The university said it will continue to work with its COVID-19 committee, as well as the athletics COVID-19 team, the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, the Centennial Conference, infectious disease experts and the NCAA to consider any options for competition for fall/winter sports in the winter and/or spring.

“The university and the athletics department have been working tirelessly to prepare for a return to some semblance of routine and the sports we love, while keeping the health and safety of our student-athletes as the top priority,” said Director of Athletics Jan Hathorn in the release. “As information regarding the transmission of the COVID-19 virus was continuously analyzed, university administration determined the most effective way to mitigate risk of exposure to our campus community was to restrict travel and visitors to campus, making it necessary to suspend competition for the fall semester. We realize that nothing can replace the joy of competition; however, our coaches, staff and administrators are committed to creating the best student-athlete experience possible, while upholding our commitment to the health and safety of the student-athletes. We will work through this adversity together and be a stronger team as a result.”

Washington and Lee’s announcement comes one week after the ODAC established a competition start date of September 11th for all fall sports.

“Washington and Lee University’s decision to forego athletic competition this fall is related to the institution’s comprehensive return to campus plan,” read a statement from the ODAC. “Despite the loss of W&L from the conference’s schedules, the ODAC has provisions in place to account for smaller sponsorship in our championships and regular season play. The conference remains committed to a safe return to campus and collegiate competition this fall under guidelines outlined in last week’s return to play communication. The ODAC leadership continues to meet weekly to review existing plans and make adjustments as conditions warrant.”

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