Published Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 12:36pm
Last week, our System held two virtual community listening forums on a possible direction for athletic programs during the Coronavirus pandemic. The forums provided a space for our students, coaching staff, employees, and community members to voice their concerns and share suggestions on the state of the 2020-2021 Intercollegiate Athletics Season.
On Monday, July 13, 2020, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced their adjusted plan of action for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year in response to COVID-19. The NJCAA recognizes the challenge to offer Intercollegiate Athletic programs in a manner that meets safety guidelines and recommended this week that the majority of Fall sports across the country be postponed until the Spring semester.
We recognize the challenge of meeting safety guidelines and following the recommendations from the College Presidents, Vice Presidents of Student Affairs, Athletic Directors, and the NJCAA guidelines, our Colleges will move all Fall sports and competitions to the Spring 2021 semester. The Maricopa Community College Athletic Directors will be notifying the NJCAA National Office by July 27, 2020, with our intentions for the 2020-21 academic year.
Consistent with the NJCAA national timeline, the below Fall and Winter MCCCD sports will tentatively move to the Spring 2021 Semester with a modified season:
- Volleyball, practice begins January 11, 2021
- Men’s and Women’s Basketball, practice begins January 11, 2021
- Men’s and Women’s Soccer, practice begins March 15, 2021
Cross Country will be suspended in Fall 2020. MCCCD Cross Country Athletic Directors and coaches will work with their statewide counterparts and NJCAA officials to possibly develop an alternative competitive Cross Country season during the Spring 2021 semester. Prior to the NJCAA announcement, several rural colleges in Arizona had already made the decision to move all Fall sports to the Spring 2021 semester.
No organized, in-person athletic activity will occur before January 1, 2021. Beginning October 1, 2020, MCCCD will evaluate the viability of holding intercollegiate athletic activity in the Spring semester. Notification will be sent to all student-athletes and athletics staff no later than November 25, 2020, if pandemic conditions require continued suspension of Fall and Spring sports. College Presidents and Athletic Directors will be monitoring an established list of data indicators to determine that the safety standards at each College can be met.
Fall engagement with student-athletes will be supported as CDC and campus guidelines allow (virtual vs. in-person study hall, community service, team meetings, etc.) Athletic trainers, coaches, and personnel will be available to student-athletes virtually until campuses reopen. Athletics Trainers may be available for in-person appointments if campuses reopen for services.
Additionally, we are in the process of developing a Maricopa Athletic Advisory Council to further amplify our athletic employees’ and students’ voices. Input and concerns from students, employees and the community were and are taken seriously, and we will continue to adjust our decisions as necessary. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and community remain our number one priority. As we monitor the fluidity of COVID-19, we will continue to communicate should further postponements be necessary. Please visit our newly developed webpage dedicated to athletics here: www.maricopa.edu/athletics.
Thank you for all that you do, and please continue to stay healthy and safe.