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Team sports canceled, postponed to Spring semester due to risk

Dumke Field remains largely unused during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RMAC Presidents Council voted Aug. 6 to postpone Fall team sports until the Spring semester, excluding cross country and golf. (Marisa Cooper)

Fall team sports will be postponed until the Spring semester due to health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Presidents’ Council announced Aug. 6.

The Council’s vote follows an earlier postponement that would have pushed team practices to Aug. 24 and competitions to Sept. 18. The RMAC did not issue specific dates with its latest vote.

Cross country will still compete as planned, as well as golf without its championship segments as these sports are considered lower risk by the NCAA and RMAC. 

The decision most directly impacts football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball —  although the Council’s press release stated that practice opportunities may be available at each institution’s discretion. 

It’s not immediately clear whether Westminster College will offer practice opportunities for team sports.

Shay Wyatt, the college’s athletic director, spoke with the Salt Lake Tribune about the postponement. 

“It is very unfortunate for the athletes, but not surprising given the concerns and complexities everyone is dealing with,” Wyatt said. “I can certainly understand the decision based on health, safety and from a financial standpoint.”

Although many college athletic departments throughout the region are left dealing with financial concerns — as many departments partially depend on the revenue competitive games produce — Wyatt told the Salt Lake Tribune that he was not overly concerned. 

“The revenue distribution that comes to our athletic department is certainly affected,” he said. “But in terms of cuts and things of that nature, no, I am happy to say we have not had to do any of that.”

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Marisa Cooper is a senior communication major with a psychology minor. She hopes to find a career path within public relations or journalism with time for a mindful work/life balance. As of late, she’s been exploring passions for embroidery, hiking, house plants and podcasts. Marisa is thrilled to take on the role of managing editor this year.

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