CSU Joins the Western Athletic Conference in Prioritizing Student-Athletes’ Health

WAC will not engage in fall competition, impacting men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer

CSU Joins the Western Athletic Conference in Prioritizing Student-Athletes’ HealthCHICAGO – In consideration of the global COVID-19 pandemic and health and well-being needs of student-athletes, Chicago State University (CSU) has joined the institutions in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in suspending all fall championship and non-championship athletics competition through the end of the calendar year.

The postponement affects CSU’s 2020 fall seasons for men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer. 

“I commend the Western Athletic Conference and its member institutions for taking the stance of preserving the health, wellness, and safety of all of our students, staff, and community, said Chicago State Director of Athletics, Elliott Charles. “This approach is necessary to not only fully protect our student-athletes’ health but to also provide the best chance for competitive sports to restart this academic year.”

“We stand with our student-athletes in all sports by acknowledging that every student-athlete is impacted,” said Charles. “COVID-19 has disrupted the transformative and memorable experiences that student-athletes hoped to gain. CSU is committed to bringing together the local and broader community to support student-athletes’ experience.” 

"It obviously was a difficult decision, and not one made lightly," said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. "But it was one made after extensive discussion and consideration of all relevant factors as well as input from conference administrators and the Medical Advisory Committee. The health and safety of our student-athletes, the many others associated with our athletics programs and all those in our campus environments always will be the highest priority.” 

“The Board recognizes the disappointment felt by our student-athletes, coaches, and fans, but it believes the decision is in the best interest of all concerned,” said Board Chair, Fr. Stephen Sundborg, S.J. 

  • The fall conference championship sports affected are men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer. Contingent on the NCAA fall championships being moved to the spring and if feasible, the WAC will conduct the respective sports during the same time frame.
  • The decision also affects the non-championship portion of the schedule for men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf, baseball, and softball, with January 1 set as the earliest opportunity for competition in these sports.
  • Men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving competition will be postponed through the end of October pending Board discussion on winter athletics competition.
  • Affiliate members remain under the jurisdiction of institutional discretion when it comes to determining a safe return to competition. 
  • Conditioning, strength training and other practice opportunities in all sports will be permitted per institutional discretion.

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