Chancellor update on fall ’20 Seawolf Athletics

by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Community,

Today, Greg Myford and I joined chancellors and athletic directors from nine other institutions that are part of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Together, we discussed the impact of COVID-19 on our athletic programs and campuses, a conversation that has been ongoing with this group over the last few months.

Today’s meeting resulted in the extremely difficult, yet unanimous decision by the GNAC CEO Board to suspend all fall athletic competition until at least Nov. 30 due to the ongoing and increasing risks associated with the pandemic. This is not a conclusion any of us would choose if not confronted with such a real threat to the collective health of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, fans and supporters.

This means volleyball and cross-country will not compete this fall; however, the GNAC and all member institutions are exploring the feasibility of moving the fall athletic seasons to spring, including competitions for a post-season championship.

No decisions have been made yet regarding winter or spring sports, including non-GNAC sports. We anticipate decisions for our winter and spring sports will be made in early fall to account for official practice start dates and conference (and non-conference) competitions.

To our students-athletes, I want to extend my deepest empathy for this disappointment, particularly for our seniors. Please know your accomplishments and your contributions to our community extend far beyond the court and course on which you compete. You are known collectively for your leadership, strong academic performance and your community service, demonstrated through thousands of hours of volunteer work. I want to encourage you to continue those efforts. They matter.

UAA community, please show your support for our students-athletes and athletics staff. We remain hopeful today’s decision is merely a shift in the timing of the fall season.

Together, we are strong and resilient. We adapt. That’s what Seawolves do!

Cathy Sandeen
UAA Chancellor

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