Blue Angels Fall Semester Updates
Since late Spring the MMU Athletics COVID-19 Action Team has been working diligently putting quality plans in place to return to competition in a safe manner and in alignment with the NCAA Resocialization of Sports Guidelines. Despite all of their efforts and countless hours of work, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges difficult to overcome. After months of study and careful consideration, Mount Mary University President Dr. Christine Pharr and Mount Mary University Director of Athletics Natalie Balleto have made the difficult decision to suspend all regular-season competition for Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, and Volleyball until December 31, 2020. Since the NCAA COVID-19 Guidelines categorize Golf as a “low-risk” sport, efforts are currently being maintained to preserve the Golf fall season.
Mount Mary is focused on bringing their student-athletes back into a safe and healthy environment while also recognizing the importance of unity that the athletic teams stand for at MMU. While some Mount Mary teams will not compete in any competitions for the remainder of the calendar year, the athletics department is dedicated to providing opportunities for our student-athletes to remain engaged in meaningful athletic activity. The university and MMU Athletics COVID-19 Action Team will continue to monitor the health trends and re-examine the situation regularly to determine if athletic activity may resume in early October for the affected sports. This may include small group practices, skill development, strength & conditioning, team building & community service, leadership training, and student-athlete wellbeing opportunities within the boundaries specified by the NCAA throughout the 2020-21 academic year. The Mount Mary University Athletic Department will continually work to achieve an environment that adheres to all the state and local health guidelines as well as the guidelines recommended by the NCAA Resocialization of Sports Guidelines.
“I know this decision is extremely disappointing news to our student-athletes and coaches anxious to get back to Blue Angels athletics and the overall student-athlete experience in the fall,” said MMU Director of Athletics Natalie Balleto. “We thank our student-athletes and their families for their understanding and continued commitment to meeting the challenges of COVID-19. We are dedicated to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of not only our student-athletes, but our campus community along with our local community as well. Assistant Athletic Directors John Baillie, Perry Clark, and I made extraordinary efforts over the last several months brainstorming and putting quality plans in place to have our student-athletes and coaches return to competition in a safe manner and in alignment with the NCAA Guidelines. I am very proud and extremely thankful for the commitment and all the efforts from the MMU Athletics COVID-19 Action Team during this difficult time. Given the continued health concerns around COVID-19, along with the daily changing landscape of DIII athletics with the NCAA and conferences announcing the cancellation of fall sports championships, participating in athletic athletic competition is not feasible at this time.”
Plans to explore competition opportunities for the affected sports in the 2021 spring semester are already underway. The department will continually evaluate the situation during the fall semester and re-examine the local, state, and NCAA guidelines in hopes to a quality athletics experience for the 2020-21 academic year.
Important to note: According to the NCAA rules, student-athletes will not use a season of eligibility if their team does not compete during the fall season. The NCAA has approved a waiver to grant a season of eligibility and two semesters back to any student-athlete whose team competes 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCAA has also approved flexibility to define playing season by days (114 days) instead of weeks, allowing schools to have flexibility in conducting and/or continuing fall sports practices and competitions into the spring. These days do not need to be consecutive.
Mount Mary University and Mount Mary University Athletics hold the safety of the student-athletes in the highest regard. For information regarding Mount Mary’s safe learning environment for fall, please click here. For the NCAA’s most up-to-date news and guidelines on COVID-19, click here.
Check MtMaryAthetlics.com for updates and news on all the teams and the adjusted seasons. Stay safe, Blue Angels!