The North Atlantic Conference, home to the Northern Vermont University sports teams in Johnson and Lyndon, has canceled all fall athletics.

Many colleges are canceling fall sports because of health and safety concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has become clear that, in the best interest of student athletes, staff and campus communities, a traditional North Atlantic Conference experience will not be possible this fall,” the presidents and athletic administrators of all 12 schools in the conference wrote in a statement issued last week.

Fall athletics have also been canceled at the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College, Norwich University and Middlebury College

“We understand this is difficult news to hear, though not unexpected given the circumstances,” NVU-Johnson said in a statement. “Not unlike the decision made this past spring, today’s decision was difficult and not taken lightly.”

Fall sports are men’s and women’s cross-country running, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, men’s golf and women’s volleyball.

NVU and the other schools in the conference can decide to hold organized practices and other team activities, and even play alternative competitions outside the league if those games are allowed by federal, state, local and university health guidelines. However, all league games and tournaments are canceled.

“Northern Vermont University is committed to exploring meaningful athletic experiences for all fall sport student athletes,” the school’s statement said. “Teams will be encouraged, as health and safety conditions allow, to conduct conditioning, strength training, sport-related practice opportunities, and potentially competition during the fall semester.”

“As teams progress through the recommended NCAA re-socialization phases successfully, and if public health guidelines allow for any sort of outside competition, NVU will consider them at the appropriate time and only if it is safe to do so.”

The conference hasn’t made any decisions about winter and spring athletics.

The NCAA, the governing body for college athletics across the country, has decided to grant an extra year of eligibility for any student athletes who do not get to participate in a minimum of 50 percent of their scheduled contests this fall.

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.