The Presidents' Council of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) recently met and postponed conference competition during the fall 2020 semester. Alfred State College (ASC) is working to provide opportunities including practices and limited competitions for Pioneer student-athletes this fall.
"Our commitment to NCAA intercollegiate is strong and we look forward to providing the best opportunities possible for our student-athletes," stated Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. "ASC looks forward to robust and competitive competition when safety measures can be met.
Director of Athletic Jason Doviak echoed Sullivan and went deeper into plans for Pioneer student-athletes. "Alfred State is committed to the safety and well-being of all student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We are planning to provide our student-athletes with opportunities to practice this fall along with limited competitions where possible. We are supportive of the decision to postpone the AMCC fall schedule and championships and will continue to explore spring schedule options for all teams impacted by this pandemic. We may, in fact, be the last conference in the country to make a formal announcement on fall sports but that was intentional due to our efforts of exhausting all possible options for our student-athletes. The conference leaders met weekly dating back to May in order to identify the best possible plan for our fall sports. Ultimately our plans continued to change as we watched the cases of COVID increase nationwide rather than decrease, as we originally anticipated, which also coincided with testing recommendations from the NCAA."
Some key components of Alfred State's plan:
1. The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are of the foremost importance. This will include daily health screenings.
2. Follow NCAA recommendations and guidelines to allow for our student-athletes to return to practice, including baseline testing.
3. Follow the phased-in approach outlined by the NCAA in the Resocialization of Collegiate Sport, which begins with small group practices once student-athletes are cleared for athletically related activities.
4. Actively monitor the situation and identify other institutions that follow similar guidelines who are also interested in conducting competition.
AMCC decisions that specifically impact Alfred State:
• Postponed conference competition in the following sports to the spring semester: men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's basketball.
• Postponed a decision on participation until Sept. 15 on the swimming/diving championship (scheduled to be conducted in mid-February in partnership with the Empire 8 Athletic Conference)
• Approved the creation of working groups for each of the above-named sports to address schedule revisions, competition and event management health and safety protocols, and rules modifications (as needed).
• Agreed to permit each member to conduct a non-traditional season for spring sports during the fall season per institutional discretion. (Baseball and softball would be effected at Alfred State). No other changes were made to conference spring sports schedules at this time.
• Agreed that each member institution is permitted to utilize the 114 day playing season window approved by Division III in 2020-21 as is appropriate for their institution, within the boundaries of NCAA rules.
The Presidents Council will continue to evaluate plans for return to conference play in January over the course of the fall semester. Future actions regarding revisions to this plan will be informed by science and established guidelines from governments and governing bodies.