After careful consideration of health and safety risks to our student-athletes and staff, the USM Department of Athletics has decided to cancel its fall 2020 competition schedule for varsity sports. This difficult decision has been made with the full support of President Cummings and the University's senior leadership team.
The decision also follows USM Athletics' months-long work and consultation with the University's Fall Planning Task Force, Student Health Services, the Huskies' Medical Team, the Athletics Action Team, University Council, UMaine System administrators, and the leadership and members of the Little East Conference and the New England Hockey Conference. During this time, we considered myriad scenarios in hopes that a path forward could be possible; however, the risks associated with long-distance travel on buses and vans to Little East Conference destinations, as well as the complexities tied to competition itself presented too much. Ultimately, we do not believe we can adhere to health and safety guidance for our student-athletes and coaching staff in these conditions. As difficult as it is to forgo the camaraderie and competition that our student-athletes have eagerly anticipated this fall, we need to do the right thing and step back for now.
Reaching this decision and fully acknowledging the risks of competition during the pandemic have been gut-wrenching to say the least. We know that participation in intercollegiate athletics is a critical component of the educational experience for our student-athletes and our entire campus community. However, we care very deeply for our student-athletes and staff and must continue to make the overall health and safety of everyone involved with USM Athletics our top priority.