HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Eastern Mennonite University, Bridgewater College, and Mary Baldwin University have all announced changes to their athletics schedules. Below is the latest information released by each institution.
Eastern Mennonite University
EMU has adopted the following action concerning athletic competitions in response to the changing situation surrounding COVID-19:
• Beginning today, all scheduled spring sports contests are suspended indefinitely.
• In-season sports (men’s volleyball, baseball, softball, women's lacrosse, golf and track & field) may conduct optional practices with those who remain on campus or are commuter students in groups not larger than 20.
EMU’s statement is released in conjunction with the official stance of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Their release this afternoon announces the following procedures regarding the remainder of the 2019-20 athletic seasons:
• All conference regular season competition is suspended indefinitely beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020.
• The conference will maintain regular communication with its member institutions to monitor the landscape and evaluate its response.
• ODAC leadership will continually review the status of the suspension and adapt as circumstances dictate.
For further information and updates from EMU, including official campus communications please visit emu.edu/coronavirus/.
The coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and around the globe. There are no known cases on Bridgewater's campus. However, because the situation is changing so rapidly, for the good of our campus and community, we are moving forward proactively with a distance learning model from March 16 through April 3.
Through April 3, College-sponsored events – on and off campus – are cancelled. This will include athletics events.
- Resumption of spring sport competitions will continue to be reassessed.
- ODAC Athletic Directors will discuss the future of conference competition for spring sports, including makeup possibilities and conference championship plans.
- Athletics staff are being informed regularly on the status of the College and athletic competition.
Mary Baldwin University
Mary Baldwin University will suspend in-seat classes and is strongly encouraging students to go home in an effort to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases on the MBU campus, but MBU leaders made the decision to move all undergraduate classes online as public health experts have ramped up caution about its highly contagious nature, how it is transmitted, and the importance of social distancing to stop or slow down the spread of the virus.
The university is suspending in-seat classes beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, and will resume studies via online instruction at 8 a.m. March 18. Instruction will continue online for the remainder of the spring semester (ending April 20). The university plans to decide in the coming weeks whether to resume in-seat classes for its May Term; campus life; and on-campus events, including commencement.
"For most of our students, the safest place for you to be during this outbreak is at home," wrote MBU President Dr. Pamela Fox. "However, if Mary Baldwin is the safest place for you to continue your studies online, you should stay here and MBU will provide housing and limited dining services."
"I do not take this decision lightly and have made it with the health and safety of the entire MBU family in mind, which includes your own loved ones," Fox wrote to students. "I understand the impact that this will have on each of you, and I want to pledge the full support of the MBU administration, faculty, and staff. No student's path to a degree will be denied or delayed because of this decision."
The change in status includes all campus events, including public lectures, prospective visit days, and athletics competitions.
For athletics, all spring sport activities will be suspended, including practices and competitions (baseball, softball, M/W tennis, M/W track & field) as well as non-tradional seasons (M/W soccer, W volleyball).
Mary Baldwin is the second USA South institution to take action against the spread of COVID-19 after Berea College announced its actions earlier this week. Both schools have joined with the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC - NCAA Div. III) and the Ivy League (NCAA Div. I) as well as others around the country in suspending spring athletic events.
For more information regarding Mary Baldwin athletics please continue to check out marybaldwinathletics.com and on Twitter @FightingMBU.