The Landmark Conference, of which Elizabethtown College is a member, has suspended fall sports preseason activities indefinitely, and will play a conference-only schedule this fall. The conference made the decision last week.
“This decision means all Elizabethtown College fall student-athletes will not participate in preseason conditioning and/or competition,” Elizabethtown College president Cecilia McCormick said in an email to LNP|LancasterOnline. “Fall student-athletes will not move-in on Aug. 17 as previously communicated and they should now move-in during their respective allotted times with the general student population.”
The conference itself has yet to make a formal announcement on the measure. Over the next month, McCormick said the presidents of each of the Landmark Conference’s eight member-schools will work to determine if there will be an opportunity for fall conference-only play, which would not begin until September 26. Additionally, McCormick said the NCAA is working on protocols for testing, resocialization of collegiate sports, and will make a determination on the status of fall championships for all divisions at that time period.
The move impacts seven E-town fall sports programs: men’s and women’s cross, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s volleyball. The school’s men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s golf programs also play a part of their 2020-21 schedules in the fall.
“We understand these decisions are disappointing,” McCormick said. “Elizabethtown College is fully committed to supporting its student-athletes through these unprecedented times and we will work to continue to offer safe and healthy environments for our athletes to train as appropriate.”
E-town is the fourth college or university in Lancaster County that will have a change to its fall sports slate. Last Friday, the North Eastern Athletic Conference, of which Lancaster Bible College is a member, announced it will not be playing sports this fall. Last Wednesday, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, of which Millersville University is a member, announced it will not be playing any sports through the remainder of 2020.
Two weeks ago, the Centennial Conference, of which Franklin & Marshall College is a member, announced the suspension of its fall sports, with a re-evaluation among conference leaders slated for late September on the possibility of playing those sports later in the fall. The lone exception to that is football, which won’t be played this fall, but could be played in the spring.
The fate of Thaddeus Stevens College’s fall sports programs (football, cross country) is unclear. However, Thaddeus Stevens’ director of marketing and public information Ann Valuch said in an email Saturday that the school is “finalizing our statement about athletics” and expects to make an announcement “in the next day or so.”