Fiat Rising to the Challenge!

The Empire 8 athletic conference, to which our University belongs, has decided to postpone Fall athletics competition. The decision affects the following sports: cross country, field hockey, football, golf, soccer, women’s tennis, and volleyball.

It is with great regret that Alfred University has joined with other Empire 8 member institutions in making this decision, but it was the correct one to make. Protecting the health and well-being of our student-athletes and coaches, as well as the entire Alfred University community, must remain our highest priority. Indeed, it has guided every decision we have made in responding to COVID-19, from our pivot to a virtual model of instruction this Spring, to all but our most essential employees working from home, and to the steps we are taking to ensure a safe reopening of our campus for the Fall 2020 semester.

We had hoped that our sports teams would be able to take to the fields and courts this Fall. The Empire 8 had taken the necessary steps to promote a safe environment for competition, adopting the NCAA Guidelines for the Resocialization of Sport, developing a detailed Pandemic Protocol Handbook, and approving modified schedules for the season. In the end, though, avoiding the potential risks to our students, staff, faculty, and community at large outweighed our desire to compete.

The Empire 8 remains committed to contesting a robust Fall sports schedule and championships next Spring. While the decision to postpone the Fall sports season will be disappointing to many, it represents only a part of a larger challenge our University has been facing over the last several months. How we respond to this challenge will be a test of our character, as both individuals and an institution.

Athletics has long been a key component of Alfred University’s ability to transform student lives and better our world. Key lessons that athletics teach are the values of hard work, resilience, teamwork, time management, and leadership. We intend to use this change in our Fall sports plan as an opportunity to reinforce those principles and emerge as a stronger University.

Fiat rising to the challenge!