The State University of New York Athletic Conference announced Monday that it is canceling its winter 2020-21 sports season.
“This was not an easy decision and I empathize with all of our student-athletes across the SUNYAC,” SUNY Cortland President and SUNYAC Presidents chair Dr. Erik Bitterbaum said in a statement released by the conference. “However, despite our best efforts to plan for a winter season, our priority must be the health and safety of everyone involved with intercollegiate athletics, and our campuses as a whole.”
The winter sports impacted by the decision include the conference schedules and championships for men’s and women’s basketball, as well as men’s ice hockey. The championships for men’s and women’s swimming and diving and men’s and women’s indoor track and field also have been canceled.
For SUNY Cortland, the decision also applies to its teams in sports not sanctioned by SUNYAC — women’s ice hockey, which plays in the Northeast Women’s Hockey League; wrestling, which competes in the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference; and women’s gymnastics, which competes in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association.
“The SUNYAC will continue internal planning for the possibility of spring sports,” the SUNYAC statement continued. “The decision on spring sports will be made at a future date.”
“While no competition will be held, there is still hope that other team activities and practice sessions will be able to be conducted,” SUNY Cortland sports information director Fran Elia said in a statement. “Those decisions will be made as the fall semester winds down and the spring semester begins. No decision has been made yet regarding Cortland’s spring athletic seasons.”
SUNYAC had already canceled its 2020 fall season, and SUNY Cortland and the rest of the Empire 8 football schools canceled their football schedules as well.