Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/29/20 – From Press Release
West Chester University administration has announced plans to hold a competitive season for outdoor spring sports next semester while also moving ahead with plans to return fall and winter sport student-athletes to in-person practice as well.
“Both Vice President Dr. Zebulun Davenport and I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the many members of this committee, which represented numerous areas of the University, on behalf of our student athletes,” West Chester University President Dr. Christopher Fiorentino commented. “He and I fully endorse and support the recommendations of this committee. We continue to keep the health, welfare and safety of all of our students, coaches, faculty and staff in the forefront of our minds as we move forward.”
Director of Athletics Terry Beatty chaired an Athletics Committee on Reconvening In-Person Activity, which consisted of four sub-committees that looked into the following areas: Healthcare, Academic Impact, Administration & Operations and On-Campus Living & Facilities. The committee consisted of 24 individuals, representing multiple campus departments, healthcare providers from both campus and the community, as well as coaches and student-athletes.
West Chester had announced in October it would cancel spring sports and then decided to reconsider.
The women’s lacrosse team was the 2019 runner-up in Division II and would enter the 2021 season as a national contender. In 2020 the Rams went 2-0 and were ranked No. 3 in the nation in the shortened season due to COVID-19.
The committee put much effort and expertise into its work, which led to the following priorities submitted to the President and Vice President of Student Affairs: (1) Prepare for the return to competition for our spring sports teams, and (2) Prepare for the return to practice only for our fall and winter sports teams. These priorities were accepted by President and Vice President, signaling the next step in the process to begin – the implementation stage.
“The process for a return to in-person activity is imperfect,” Beattie pointed out. “But, we made recommendations based on the information we had available to us at the time. By making spring sports competition our priority, we can focus our financial and human resources toward the goal of not losing a second consecutive competitive season in those sports, while also preparing for in-person activities for all of our other programs.
“I would like to thank the committee members for their efforts and thank President Fiorentino and Vice President Davenport for their support and approval of our recommendations.”
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced recently that it was cancelling all mandated regular-season and conference championships for fall and winter sports for the exception of four. The PSAC will host championships in men’s and women’s swimming and men’s and women’s cross country, due to the fact that six or more institutions expressed interest in holding a championship. West Chester University has opted out of participating in those four championships that will take place.