Chancellor decision on ’20-21 indoor winter sports season
by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor |
Dear UAA Community,
You may recall in July, I shared the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) CEO Board’s decision to suspend all fall athletic competition until at least Nov. 30 due to the ongoing and increasing risks associated with the pandemic.
Today, it is with a heavy heart, I inform you I have made the decision UAA Athletics will not compete in any indoor winter sports during the 2020-21 season. This includes our sports teams in the GNAC, as well as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF).
This decision affects women’s and men’s basketball, men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics and women’s and men’s indoor track. Because the Seawolf ski team, which includes both Nordic and Alpine student-athletes, is a non-contact sport that practices and competes outdoors, it will begin competition later this month. UAA has not yet announced decisions about GNAC spring ’21 competition for volleyball, cross country running and outdoor track and field.
I weighed many factors including state and local conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to make this very difficult decision. I also relied heavily upon the guidance of public health officials.
As always, my first priority is the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff. I know this is a disappointment for our community. Our student-athletes have continued to work hard each day in the midst of much uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic. I am proud of the resilience they have shown.
As a university community, let’s continue to encourage and support our Seawolves through this challenging time. Together, we are stronger.