Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology will not be playing fall sports in 2020 out of concern for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we are disappointed to suspend our fall athletics, it is imperative that we do all we can to ensure the safety and health of students and coaches during this uncertain time,” Thaddeus Stevens’ dean of student service and athletic director Dr. Christopher Metzler said in an email to LNP|LancasterOnline.
The move impacts Thaddeus Stevens’ football and men’s and women’s cross country programs.
All of Thaddeus Stevens’ sports programs except football are a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, which announced July 13 recommended changes to its member institutions for fall sports and pushing the start of winter sports back to January.
Asked if the college intends to also push back the start of its winter sports programs (men’s basketball, wrestling) to January, Thaddeus Stevens director of marketing and public information Ann Valuch said the school is considering NJCAA guidelines as it evaluates spring sports, “including the potential for moving fall and winter sports to spring.”
That might be a bit more feasible than at other colleges considering Thaddeus Stevens’ has just one spring sport: men’s and women’s track & field.
The decision on the part of Thaddeus Stevens now means all five colleges or universities in Lancaster County will have their fall sports impacted in some way or another out of concern for the coronavirus.
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 North Eastern Athletic Conference, of which Lancaster Bible College is a member, will not be playing sports this fall, and might instead move them to the spring.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, of which Millersville University is a member, will not be playing any sports through the remainder of 2020.
And the Centennial Conference, of which Franklin & Marshall College is a member, has suspensed 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.