SUNY athletes may get a chance to compete this spring

Photo courtesy of SUNY New Paltz Athletics

With the spring semester now under way, Division-III college athletes may have an opportunity to get back on the field.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras this week gave the go-ahead for the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) to come up with a plan for baseball, track and field, lacrosse, softball and tennis teams to return to play.

The plan must comply with NCAA and New York State guidelines in order for it to be approved. Updates on COVID-19 will also be heavily monitored throughout the next couple of weeks to see if a return to play is feasible this spring.

Malatras is requesting the report from SUNYAC after seeing that “other collegiate athletic competition in New York … demonstrated that sports can safely operate under enhanced protocols,” he said.

“Our students within SUNYAC and the NCAA Division III-level want to play sports just as much as anyone,” said Malatras in his statement. “With strict safety standards and leadership from our athletic directors and presidents at those campuses, a comprehensive plan could afford them the opportunity. I thank our SUNY presidents in the conference for their leadership and look forward to the SUNYAC plan.”

Other schools in the state have already begun the process of putting together games for the upcoming spring season. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) recently put out a statement announcing the schedule for a variety of spring sports. As a part of the ACC, Syracuse will be able to play their games starting in early February. 

Some sports that were supposed to be played in the fall are also on track to be played in the spring.

As of now, SUNY Albany and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) will be playing a shortened football season starting in March. It was announced back in October that the conference will be separated into two divisions for the season and a round robin schedule within the divisions will take place.