WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Over the past few months, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) has worked daily to plan for safe opportunities for our student-athletes to compete this fall. USJ has partnered with the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), the NCAA, and the State of Connecticut to study health and safety guidelines and to monitor a potential return to play. The changing nature of COVID-19 and the state-by-state differences of its impact, as well as varying guidelines under which GNAC institutions operate have proved to be challenging.
The safety of USJ's students, coaches, staff, fans, and associated families is our highest priority. We strive to make reasonable and balanced decisions about how all aspects of students' lives and educational goals are affected by participation in collegiate athletics.
The University of Saint Joseph in conjunction with the GNAC has now made the difficult decision to postpone formal participation in conference and non-conference competition during the upcoming fall semester. This decision has been made based on concerns regarding the health and safety of our student-athletes, our ability to safely host visiting teams and spectators, and challenges regarding travel to other campuses.
USJ's plan is for student-athletes to return to campus with the rest of the student body. Upon their return to campus, student-athletes will begin conditioning and small group workouts with coaches in accordance with NCAA rules and the university's Mask and Distancing policies. USJ will follow the Sports Science Institute's recommendations and the State of Connecticut's guidelines and safely progress towards a goal of team practices and other meaningful athletic opportunities if public health conditions allow.
Winter sports will also begin workouts and practices when deemed safe to do so. Additionally, spring sports will follow protocols similar to those of the fall teams for their non-traditional fall seasons.
Recognizing that our gifted student-athletes are such positive ambassadors for the university, and athletic competitions are so integral to campus life, the USJ administration and coaches will continue to work for a safe return to play, on/in the field, court, pool, and pitch.
About USJ Athletics
University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Athletics is a NCAA Division III member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). The Blue Jays field 15 varsity sports with 200-plus student-athletes. For more information, please visit www.usjbluejays.com.