The University of Vermont will not be participating in fall sports competition as planned. The America East Conference announced the news on Friday afternoon that fall sports are postponed for the duration of the first semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The America East Conference Board of Presidents announced a postponement, not cancellation, of all America East fall athletics competition and championships.

The league will develop plans for a competitive structure in the spring. There is no set decision on the winter sports season. As of now, winter sports are set to compete as scheduled but may be revisited at a later date.

UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman spoke with Local 22/44 regarding the decision.

“Over the past few weeks it just became more clear the risks associated with continuing competitive sports right now. We just felt like we couldn’t put together the kind of safe and meaningful season that we wanted to” said Schulman. He noted that teams will still be allowed to practice and train, the restriction made by the conference is competition.

“We have an eye on being able to put together competitive seasons for our fall teams in the spring. That would be different and unusual but we want to give it some time for things to evolve and hopefully the pandemic gets better so we can safely resume competition for our teams” said Schulman.

Statement from America East Commissioner, Amy Huchthausen: “We have remained optimistic that we could safely conduct a fall sports season, however, there are several external factors outside of our institutions’ control that will limit and disrupt our ability to deliver our student-athletes an experience they deserve. While several outstanding issues and questions remain, we are hopeful that creative thinking and solutions will emerge in concert with improved measures to reduce the risk associated with COVID-19 as the academic year unfolds.”

You can read the full release from the America East here.