Following a review process, Ithaca College's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Wednesday that it will be suspending all fall athletic competition for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Our internal Safe Return to Sport Task Force, along with campus and Liberty League partners, has explored every possible avenue for a way for Ithaca College to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition," Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports, said in a press release. "The health and safety of our students, coaches, and entire campus community is our top priority. The measures required to enhance safety, which include social distancing policies, reduced off-campus travel, and restrictions on visitors to campus, prohibit our ability to provide intercollegiate athletics competition this fall. We took a thorough, process-oriented approach to our decision-making and were guided by the most current scientific and medical information in reaching this disappointing conclusion."

The news comes on the same day that the Liberty League, which the college is an affiliate member of, announced that it will cancel all league competition and championships through Dec. 31, 2020.

This announcement impacts the following sports: men's and women's crew and sculling, men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis (fall season), women's golf (fall season) and volleyball.

The college is still allowing athletes practice, train and partake in team-related activities so long as they abide to guidelines established by the college's sports medicine team and the IC Health and Safety Committee.

Decisions regarding the winter and spring sports seasons have yet to be made. Winter and spring athletes are permitted to practice and train in the fall. In addition, recreational activities and club sports will start after the fall semester.

"President Collado and I have been working closely with the college's athletics and health staffs, and with the Liberty League, to determine how we can best support the well-being of our student-athletes and coaches during the COVID-19 pandemic," Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, said in the release. "That work will continue, so that a comprehensive plan for managing health and safety is in place for when we are able to once again engage in intercollegiate athletics competition."

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