Fall sports at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will not take place as scheduled this year.
Citing a lack of “resources necessary to create and maintain an environment ... that meets our safety requirements,” the school announced through a statement by university president Dr. Catherine Koverola that UPB’s fall sports seasons have been postponed until at least the spring semester.
The sports impacted by the decision are men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s golf and women’s tennis. Schedules for those sports had not been released by the university’s athletic department yet.
“I know this is disappointing news for many of you, but as you know, we are focused on maximizing our educational mission while ensuring the Pitt-Bradford community and our neighbors in the surrounding communities are as safe and healthy as possible,” Koverola said. She added, “We hope conditions will improve in the spring to enable us to play both our fall and winter sports.”
The school is hardly alone in its decision. Fellow Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference member Hilbert College announced last Friday that its men’s and women’s soccer seasons and women’s volleyball season would all be postponed until the spring.
AMCC Commissioner Donna Ledwin noted that UPB informed its fellow conference members of the decision prior to the public announcement. The conference will issue a statement later in the week, Ledwin confirmed.
Meanwhile, at the Division II level, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference postponed last Wednesday all sporting events scheduled prior to Jan. 1, and multiple Division I leagues have chosen to do the same or even cancel fall sports outright.
How things proceed is still unclear, however. Only UPB and Hilbert have taken firm action on fall sports, leaving a large question for the rest of the AMCC.
Ledwin told the Erie Times-News’ Tom Reisenweber last Tuesday, “At this time the AMCC has made no decision regarding restriction or suspension of fall sports. Our presidents and chancellors are continuing to gather information. I anticipate we will make a public announcement at the appropriate time.”
However, that was prior to the public announcements of Hilbert and Pitt-Bradford.
There’s also still no guarantee that Pitt-Bradford’s fall athletes will have a season even in the spring. Any decisions on that schedule will be made in consultation with health experts, Koverola says.
“As we make decisions, we will continue to monitor Pitt-Bradford campus conditions and follow guidance from many scientific sources, including the University of Pittsburgh’s Healthcare Advisory Group, which includes world-renowned experts in the health sciences and public health fields,” she said.
The president shared that plans are underway, with guidance from the NCAA, to develop ways to “provide safe, alternative physical activities for our students.”
She added, “As those plans develop, I will share that information with you.”