Dear Post Community,
There is very little that is normal right now, but the race to inoculate our citizens against COVID-19 gives me hope. After considerable planning and coordination with other colleges and universities, the CACC, NCAA, city, state and federal agencies, we have made a thoughtful decision. My message today is that, starting in late February, our spring sport student athletes will be welcome to return to campus for spring competition.
All main campus students are learning remotely this semester. With the fall and winter athletic seasons cancelled, it is safer for these students to remain in their current locations and learn virtually. We look forward to welcoming all of our students back to campus in the Fall. Given the concept of creating a “bubble” for each team and considering the corresponding space requirements to implement COVID protocols, we can only have a portion of the student body on campus, not unlike most colleges and universities. So, for now, all spring sports will be returning to campus, specifically baseball, softball, (M/W) lacrosse, (M/W) tennis, (M/W) golf, and (M/W) track and field. You can read more about the comprehensive protocols that are in place beginning on page 26 of our continuity plan.
At the recent CACC Presidents Council meeting, we specifically discussed the logistics for spring competition. While we made great progress with which schools will compete, things continue to evolve. For example, some schools have indicated an intention to compete; however, there are dynamics that could change their decision. Schedules may be influenced by state and local mandates. The point in sharing is so that our student athletes and parents to be aware there are many different scenarios in what is a very a fluid environment for the spring.
Key Points to Remember:
1. Spring Student-athletes are welcome to return to campus.
This is a choice that is individual to each student and should be made by the student and their family, without outside influence. Over the past 3-4 months, we have received numerous emails from student athletes who have expressed concern about returning to campus to compete. While they are worried about their personal health and safety, they are also concerned that should they choose not to return, they are letting their team down or losing eligibility. For students who fall into this situation, please know that your decision is individual to you and, as part of the Code of Behavior, it will be respected by your coach and your teammates. In addition, those students who choose not to compete in their sport this season are eligible to procure an extension of eligibility through the NCAA.
2. The campus experience will be different than students remember.
While we are beyond excited to have students back on campus, it is important to remember that the campus our athletes will be returning to will look and feel quite different than the one they left in March 2020. Like all main campus students, Spring athletes will access their courses and all student services virtually. They will sign a Code of Conduct that defines the campus expectations around social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), routine testing, and keeping their community safe. They will live, play, and eat in a bubble with their teammates. In order to maintain the integrity and safety of that bubble, they will be required to live on campus and will not be permitted to leave campus, except for games and any necessary testing. Spring athletes who find themselves unable to abide by the terms of the Code of Conduct will be asked to return home.
3. Teams with an incomplete roster may still practice.
If a team is unable to fill its roster and compete, the student-athletes on that team are still welcome to return to campus for practice only. This situation could arise if students choose not to return for reasons of health and safety or if a team is made up of a large number of international students who are unable to enter the United States due to travel restrictions or Department of Homeland Security regulations. The coaches and Bill Stadler, our Assistant Director of International Admissions, have already reached out to many of our international students. We ask that international spring student athletes and parents with any questions on these policies please contact Mr. Bill Stadler (email@example.com) for information specific to your situation.
The student-athletes on teams with an incomplete roster will be welcome to live on campus and practice with their teammates and coaches. According to NCAA guidelines, student athletes associated with any sport that must cancel its Spring 2021 competition due to the pandemic will not lose a year of eligibility.
4. There will be testing and quarantining requirements to return to campus.
Spring student athletes will be welcome to return to campus beginning 21 days before their first competition. Please see this schedule regarding arrival schedules. To be eligible to return, student athletes will be required to show proof of a negative PCR coronavirus test before they arrive on campus. Per state guidelines, upon arrival, students will be tested again and quarantine for seven days. They will be required to have another negative PCR test at the end of this quarantine period. At this time, they will be welcome to practice with their team for two weeks leading into their first competition. Testing will continue in alignment with the Spring 2021 Plan.
Students, who did not live in University Campus Housing prior to September 2020, must provide their immunization records to Health Services. All student athletes must demonstrate proof of health insurance that meets CT requirements. For students, who do not have insurance, the prorated fee is $560. Post University will not charge our spring student athletes for housing, but there will be a prorated fee for board. Additional details on this will be forthcoming.
I am sure that you may have additional questions. For any current or incoming student-athletes, please first direct questions to your respective coach or athletic administrator. For all others, please reach out to Dean of Students Erica Peryga (firstname.lastname@example.org) or University Provost Elizabeth Johnson (email@example.com).
I continue to wish all of our students good health and look forward to welcoming our spring athletes to campus in a few weeks.
John L. Hopkins
CEO & President