KEUKA PARK, N.Y. — The fall athletics season for Keuka College was postponed on Wednesday following a decision by the Empire 8 Conference.
According to a statement issued by the Conference, which Keuka College joined at the beginning of this academic year: "The continued evolution of the virus has presented significant new challenges to safe athletics competition. As such, the Empire 8 Presidents Council has unanimously voted to postpone all fall competition in the sports of men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's golf, men's and women's soccer, women's tennis and women's volleyball."
The decision will impact Keuka College's men's and women's soccer, field hockey, and women's volleyball teams. However, the decision does not mean their seasons are over. The Presidents Council voted to allow fall sports teams to compete during the spring semester.
"The Empire 8 is committed to provide all fall student-athletes with a meaningful regular season and championship tournament experience in the spring of 2021," said in a statement from the Presidents Council.
"While understandable, given the uncertainty all colleges are now facing, the Empire 8 decision is certainly disappointing," said Keuka College President Amy Storey. "I know our student-athletes were looking forward to taking the field in the Empire 8 Conference for the first time this fall, but our students' health and wellbeing are our foremost priority. While our debut in the Empire 8 Conference has been put on hold, we look forward to a full competitive season for all of our teams in the spring."
The Empire 8 is not alone in making the decision to postpone fall athletic competitions. It's the fifth conference in Division III to postpone play and Keuka College joins a growing list of more than 60 colleges and universities to put athletics on hold.
A decision on winter sports will be made at a later date by the conference.
"There's much more to our athletics department than just intercollegiate competitions," said Keuka College Director of Athletics David Sweet, adding that the department continues to plan for athletic activities this fall. "We're working with our local health officials and College administration to determine the best ways to continue to offer athletic opportunities for all of our student-athletes for this fall. Our goal is to give them a quality Keuka College experience, as well as prepare them for the resumption of competitions in the spring."
Keuka College's Board of Trustees voted in January 2019 to accept an invitation to join the Empire 8 Conference following a lengthy review. The College had previously been a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference.