Empire 8 Presidents Council Votes to Postpone Fall Athletics

The Empire 8 Athletic Conference Presidents Council today announced the postponement of all fall athletic competition for the 2020 season due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was unanimous among the presidents of all Empire 8 member colleges and universities. The Empire 8 is also issuing its own announcement.

As a member of the Empire 8, Hartwick College affected teams include men’s football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball.

“After careful consideration, I voted with my Empire 8 presidential colleagues to postpone our fall athletics season,” said Hartwick President Margaret L. Drugovich, a member of the Council. “This decision followed a robust discussion and thorough consideration of current New York State guidelines and evolving recommendations from the NCAA. As the health and welfare of our community remains our priority, this is the best decision. Nonetheless, it was a difficult decision to make. Athletics is important to our community – both for the student-athletes who compete and all of us who cheer them on.”

Director of Athletics John Czarnecki shared the outcome with the head coaches of fall teams this afternoon, each of whom have contacted their respective teams of both returning and new student athletes.

A spring season in lieu of the postponed fall schedule is under consideration by the conference, although no decision has been made. Per NCAA Division III rules, Hartwick’s affected student-athletes will not be counted as having participated in the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the postponement.

The Empire 8 Presidents Council has not made a decision regarding winter sports, which at Hartwick include men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field. Spring sports have not yet been discussed at the conference level.

One-third of Hartwick students play on one of the College’s 19 Division III varsity sports teams.

For more information, contact Czarnecki at 607-431-4045 or czarneckij@hartwick.edu.

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact:     David Lubell
E-mail:        lubelld@hartwick.edu
Phone:        607-431-4031

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