NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (pacathletics.org)--At its annual spring meeting, which was held as a virtual conference on April 2, the Presidents' Council of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) officially cancelled the 2020 spring varsity sports season. The PAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Banquet, held annually in May in Wexford, Pa., was also cancelled.
“This decision was made with great regret and only after every possible avenue to play a modified schedule had been exhausted,” said Dr. David Finegold, president of Chatham University and 2019-20 PAC Presidents' Council chair. “In fact, the PAC was one of the last three Division III conferences in the country (out of 44 nationally) to take this final step. Ultimately, our first responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes, and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to maintain that protection."
NCAA Division III has provided a blanket waiver providing all 2020 spring sports varsity athletes with an additional season of eligibility. PAC athletic administrators and coaches will be working with student-athletes impacted regarding these additional eligibility options. The PAC will honor graduating senior spring student-athletes as part of a social media campaign during Division III Week, scheduled for April 13-19.
“It’s critical that we take the time to recognize and show our gratitude to our senior student-athletes who saw their collegiate athletic careers cut short through no fault of their own this spring,” said PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko. “In lieu of a banquet, we will work with our athletic directors to find an appropriate way to continue honoring the top scholar-athletes in the PAC this spring.”
In addition, the PAC Presidents' Council began planning for the safe return of varsity athletics to campuses in the fall of 2020, assuming the current public health crisis has abated. The conference will be coordinating with the NCAA Sport Science Institute (SSI) and other national and regional public health organizations, as well as our athletic training staff and other health professionals, to determine best practices for maintaining a safe and healthy environment as teams and student-athletes arrive back on PAC campuses.