Drexel University confirmed July 17 that participation in intercollegiate athletics is canceled for all of its fall varsity teams as a responsive measure to help mitigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The cancellation of fall athletics comes after a July 17 announcement by the Colonial Athletic Association, the athletic conference for the NCAA’s Division I schools along the East Coast, whose board of directors decided the best course of action for schools.
“I commend the [CAA] Board of Directors for their forward thinking and open-mindedness when dealing with the uncertain and complex moment that we find ourselves in,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “Each of our [participating] institutions is making the best decisions for its campus community, based on a totality of the circumstances analysis.”
Dr. Eric Zillmer, Director of Athletics at Drexel, confirmed that the University’s participation in intercollegiate athletics for the fall season is simply not possible — especially after discussions with other institutions, the City of Philadelphia and the CAA.
“The safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and professional staff are our first priority and we are hopeful that our fall teams will be able to compete in the spring,” Zillmer said.
Other schools in the CAA, including the College of William and Mary in Virginia, the State University of New York at Albany, Towson University in Maryland and the University of Delaware, have all chosen to cancel fall sports as well.
The cancellation spans conferences, too. The Ivy League, the New England Small Athletic Conference and the Patriot League all announced plans that their fall sports will not participate competitively.
Although Drexel’s competitive sports are canceled for the fall, each athletic team will return to campus in September for strength and conditioning work with coaches while maintaining the health and safety guidelines set by the University.
Drexel is also currently exploring all of its options in regard to athletics, DrexelNOW said. One possibility involves shifting fall sports to a spring schedule, but plans have yet to be finalized.